Souviens-toi de Palmyre is the lyrical story of Zénobie, the young and beautiful warrior queen of Palmyr in the 3rd century. In her captivating new novel, Myriam Antaki breathes life into this fascinating historical personage. After being captured and enslaved by the Roman Emperor Aurelius, Zénobie looks back on her family, childhood, marriage, and rise to power as one of the most powerful rulers in the Middle East. Surrounded by Roman legions from the West and Persian armies from the East, Zénobie finds herself in a dangerous balancing act in which the freedom of her kingdom is at stake. Unlike her predecessors, she chooses to defend her luxurious desert oasis at all costs, then lashes out in a daring campaign to expand her empire to Asia Minor, the Mediterranean, the Tigris, and all the way to the gates of Alexandria. At every step of her journey, she shares intimate reflections on her personal life, describing in gorgeously written prose her nighttime strolls with her father, passionate affair with the commander of the Palmyrian army, and profound despair as Aurelius’ slave. Zénobie recounts her story in an exotic poetic revelry, conjuring up a mesmerizing portrait of her kingdom and its princes, warriors, eunuchs, palaces, golden caravans, sparkling scenery, and flowing rivers in the midst of vast deserts.
Myriam Antaki : Myriam Antaki was born in Syria and currently lives in Alep. She has written three other novels, the last of which, Les Versets du pardon Verses of Forgiveness, is being translated and published in English by The Other Press.