Winner, 2011 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2016
Swiftly paced, poignantly moving, and beautifully imagined, Niko is the powerful epic story of what it takes to survive after war, of what to hold dear and what to leave behind in a world that won’t let you have it all.
Six-year-old Niko Karam has never known a life outside civil war. He rarely leaves his parents’ small apartment, and from its small balcony he listens to the world outside tumble down one building at a time. But after a car bomb kills his pregnant mother, Niko is thrust into a much wider and confusing world without apartments or balconies, as he and his father Antoine embark on an impossible twelve-year odyssey that leads them across seven countries, including Canada, in search of a new place to call home.
“Sobering but never maudlin, instructive without feeling pedantic, Niko cuts like a scythe through the grand myths of Canadian multiculturalism. In clear-eyed prose reminiscent of Ha Jin and JM Coetzee, Dimitri Nasrallah has written an honest, affecting novel about the ache and longing of exile.” -Pasha Malla, author of The Withdrawal Method and People Park