The Three Rs: Sumia Sukkar

December 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sumia Sukkar is a 21-year-old Muslim British writer, raised in London, of  Syrian-Algerian ancestry. She studied creative writing at Kingston University. The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War is her debut book, and was launched at Foyles in London at the beginning of  November. The Times, in a recent review, noted the authenticity of her  research, and how moving her novel of autism, love, art and war is. Sumia  is currently working and writing in the Middle East.

When did you first know you wanted to write books?

I’ve been writing ever since I could remember. I used to write short stories when I was young and show them to my teacher. My parents then bought me a lovely notebook for my birthday when I was 7 and I started writing my first ‘novel’ . So probably ever since I was 7.

How does writing fit into your typical day?

I’m a traveller so it varies really. Day, evening, night. I can just say it happens everyday in my red notebook.

the boy from Aleppo who painted the war

Do you type or write by hand?

First draft by hand then I type it onto my laptop. I then edit again by hand on the printed pages.

What have you read recently that you loved?

Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami. Such an enigmatic book!

What are your all-time favourites?

The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, The Time Travellers Wife and everything by Haruki Murakami.

You can either write or read for the rest of your life – but not both. Which do you choose?

How brutal a question! I can’t possibly pick. Writing… no, Reading… No… I can’t do this!

What’s your third R, and why?

Ramen. Got to love my noodles.


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