The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel Audiobook, by Zeyn Joukhadar Play Audiobook Sample

The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel Audiobook

The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel Audiobook, by Zeyn Joukhadar Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Lara Sawalha Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 8.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: May 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781508253341

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

55:04 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

31 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

29:31 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Zeyn Joukhadar: > View All...

Publisher Description

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last.

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“We’ve all been aware of the plight of Syrian refugees, but in this richly imaginative story we see one small family—both haunted by history and saved by myth—work their way west. It’s beautiful and lovely and eye-opening.”

— Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author 


  • “[An] ambitious debut…Joukhadar plunges the Western reader full force into the refugee world with sensual imagery.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • "[A] sweeping, thrillingly ambitious tale…Joukhadar captures the unrelenting courage of those who persist amid the trials of exile. A truly remarkable debut.”

    — Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners

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About Zeyn Joukhadar

Zeyn Joukhadar is a Syrian American author and a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and of American Mensa. Joukhadar’s writing has appeared in Salon, the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, the Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. Joukhadar is a 2017–2020 Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Program Literary Arts Fellow and a 2019 Artist in Residence at the Arab American National Museum.

About Lara Sawalha

Lara Sawalha is an Actor, Model and Film & Stage Crew member based in London, United Kingdom. She graduated from Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in 2006 with a BA in Acting and now works between Jordan and London doing theater, film, TV, radio, and audiobook narration.