Sea Prayer is an attempt to pay tribute to Aylan Kurdi -- the 3-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey and broke the world's heart -- and the millions of families like his.
A riveting collection of thoughts of a father watching over his sleeping son as they travel to foreign lands from their war-ridden homeland Syria sets the ground for famous Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini's next book Sea Prayer.
Written in the form of a letter, Sea Prayer is an account of the father-son's life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.
It was originally produced in collaboration with UNHCR, the United Nations' Refugee Agency, as a Guardian virtual film in September last year to mark the second anniversary of Aylan Kurdi's death. The 2015 image of the 3-year-old boy washed up on a beach in Turkey had devastated the world.
Hosseini, the award-winning author of books Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, said in a statement, 'We are living in the midst of a displacement crisis of enormous proportions. Sea Prayer is an attempt to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Aylan Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution.'
Sarah McGrath, editor-in-chief, Riverhead, was quoted as saying, 'Any new project from Khaled Hosseini is momentous. He is one of the most important writers of our time. But this work is particularly poignant in its heartbreaking engagement with the refugee crisis. I believe this beautifully written, intensely moving story will be cherished by people of all ages, and all over the world.'
Sea Prayer, illustrated by London-based artist Dan Williams, will be published (Bloomsbury) in the United Kingdom and the Indian subcontinent on August 30, and in North America (Riverhead in the US and Penguin Canada) on September 18 to mark the third anniversary of Alan Kurdi's death.
Hossein will donate the proceeds from this book to the UNHCR and the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund life-saving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.