Complex. Evocative. Immersive.
  • Politica
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Yumna Kassab

A captivating literary journey that delves into the intertwined lives of a town, its people, and a region shaped by revolution and war.

The war broke out and she decided to call her dad.
Weeks and weeks we do not speak, and the weeks become months and then they are so many years.
She imagines herself starting this story.
She imagines how she will tell this story later to someone else.
We hadn't spoken for years but then the war broke out...

As conflict plays out across an unnamed region, its inhabitants deal with the fallout. Families are torn apart and brought together. A divide grows between those on either side of the war, compromises are struck as the toll of violence impacts near and far. We learn about those who are left behind and those who choose to leave in a great scattering. As the stories of those affected play out they weave together to show the whole of a society in the most extreme of circumstances. Even after the last shot is fired, their world will never recover.

From the acclaimed author of The House of Youssef, Australiana and The Lovers comes a powerful new novel that asks again if it’s possible to ever measure the personal cost of war.

About the Author

Yumna Kassab Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her fiction has been listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Queensland Literary Awards, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and The Stella Prize. 

Praise for Politica

‘Like an impressionist painter, Kassab uses words like brushstrokes to build a vivid picture of intertwined lives set against the continuing drumbeat of war. The narrative moves between past, present and future and uses time as an effective device to illustrate how the effects of war linger long after its cessation.’ – Books + Publishing


‘an evocative literary tale’ – Australian Women's Weekly


Politica can’t make war make sense (what can?), but it does offer a small balm. In her book Kassab looks horror in the eye, dignifies private desires and grieves their loss, and in doing so reminds us what being human looks like.’–Meanjin


‘In a 2022 interview, Kassab said a responsibility of the novelist is to “write with an eye towards humanity”. And she never falters in this, with Politica always drawing us back to war’s immeasurable personal cost.’ The Guardian


a rewarding tale of real people navigating war, love, loss, poverty and many other challenges, all linked by time and location. The novel asks if it is possible to ever measure the personal cost of war. Through all the stories she creates here, Kassab makes it clear that it can never be.– The Saturday Paper


Praise for The Lovers

‘her writing is poetic and reverential. The author’s understanding of love, romance and of responsibility runs deep.’ – Books + Publishing


‘Sometimes, Kassab shows us, love can be another word for cruelty. Sometimes the stories we hide behind reveal our deepest truths.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Beautifully told in Yumna Kassab's poetic prose, The Lovers is both the story of the tumultuous relationship between Amir and Jamila and an exploration of class, culture and the complex nature of love.’ – Sunday Life

‘The delicate power that fables hold – their universality, while retaining their specificity – is captured in The Lovers. Ultimately, Kassab’s novel rests on the premise of the ‘impossibility of language, of being able to ever understand someone else.’ – Artshub

‘her writing is poetic and reverential. The author’s understanding of love, romance and of responsibility runs deep.’  Books + Publishing

‘a raw, haunting and honest look at love, relationships, and the moments that break us.’ – Mamamia


Praise for Yumna Kassab

‘the real deal’ – Favel Parrett, author of Past The Shallows

‘rare it is to read a voice as crisp and authentic as Kassab’​ – Zoya Patel, author of No Country Woman

‘Kassab creates an eerie sense of place as the reader is drawn into myriad perspectives and geographies. Without doubt Australiana is an unnerving contribution to contemporary novel writing in this continent.’ – Books + Publishing on Australiana

‘The unadorned style and unobtrusive realism of this book mask, at first, how experimental and original it is in other ways’ – Sydney Morning Herald on The House Of Youssef

‘Kassab’s prose is unsparing and frank yet unstinting’ – Australian Book Review on The House Of Youssef




Pub Date
January 2024




Dispossession. War and conflict. Class and society. Family and home.