We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria by Wendy Pearlman [in Library Journal]
As she did for Palestinians in Occupied Voices, Wendy Pearlman (political science, Northwestern Univ.) again gives agency to a population under siege, this time to Syrians. Fluency in Arabic provides Pearlman direct access to “hundreds of Syrian men, women, and children” of all backgrounds – socially, politically, spiritually, those who stayed, those who fled – offering invaluable insight beyond the “[p]oliticians and commentators throughout the world [who] talk about Syrians as victims … bodies … radicals … or threats.” Instead, readers can “listen to actual Syrians, as human beings.” Following Pearlman’s meticulous introduction rich in contextual history are eight sections tracing the unfolding of the Syrian Revolution through those who witnessed and survived.
Erin Bennett, Assaf Cohen, and Susan Nezami take turns voicing Pearlman’s subjects; while a multi-person cast should be enhancing, narrators occasionally falter when mismatched to the diversity of the 87 speakers. Cohen, for example, sounds too youthful to articulate older men’s experiences convincingly. Delivery seems insignificant to the gravity of understanding and acknowledging these searing, remarkable, adamant voices; libraries should consider offering this work in multiple formats to encourage accessibility to all audiences.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, February 1, 2018