The Singularity

Regular price $ 16.95

by Balsam Karam, Translated by Saskia Vogel

Feminist Press

1/24/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781558611931


Lyrical and devastating, The Singularity is a breathtaking study of grief, migration, and motherhood from one of Sweden's most exciting new novelists.

In an unnamed coastal city filled with refugees, the mother of a displaced family calls out her daughter's name as she wanders the cliffside road where the child once worked. The mother searches and searches until, spent from grief, she throws herself into the sea, leaving her other children behind. Bearing witness to the suicide is another woman--on a business trip, with a swollen belly that later gives birth to a stillborn baby. In the wake of her pain, the second woman remembers other losses--of a language, a country, an identity--when once, her family fled a distant war.

Balsam Karam weaves between both narratives in this formally ambitious novel and offers a fresh approach to language and aesthetic as she decenters a white European gaze. Her English-language debut, The Singularity is a powerful exploration of loss, history, and memory--an experience akin to "drinking directly from a flood of tears" (Aftonbladet).


"A beautiful and harrowing English-language debut... This is powerful." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"I don't know anyone who writes like Balsam Karam. She blows me away. Truly one of the most original and extraordinary voices to come out of Scandinavia in...  forever. You'll realize twenty minutes after you've finished The Singularity that you're still sitting there, holding on to it." -- Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove

"The Singularity by Balsam Karam is a novel about loss and longing--a mother who misses her child, children who miss their mother, and all of those who miss their country as they try to feel the new earth in their new land. A deeply moving work of fiction from a true voice of Scandinavia." -- Shahrnush Parsipur, author of Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran

About the Contributors:

Balsam Karam (b. 1983) is of Kurdish ancestry and has lived in Sweden since she was a young child. She is an author, librarian, and university lecturer, and made her literary debut in 2018 with the critically acclaimed Event Horizon, which was shortlisted for the Katapult Prize. The Singularity was shortlisted for the August Prize and is her second novel, published in Sweden in 2021.

Saskia Vogel is the author of Permission and the translator of over twenty Swedish-language books. She was awarded the Berlin Senate Endowment for Non-German Literature and was a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize. She worked on The Singularity as part of her translation residency at Princeton University. From Los Angeles, she now lives in Berlin.