Penguin Canada to publish SEA PRAYER by Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Dan Williams

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. He is the author of the New York Times...

Penguin Canada is proud to announce a new work from the award-winning and internationally bestselling writer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Khaled Hosseini. The new work, entitled Sea Prayer, is a short, illustrated book which Hosseini wrote in response to the current refugee crisis and the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the beach in Turkey in September 2015.

Written in the form of a letter, Sea Prayer is a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son, on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. It is also an account of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.  

Originally produced in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Sea Prayer was first released as a Guardian virtual film on September 1, 2017. The book will be illustrated by London-based artist Dan Williams, and published September 18 2018, to mark the third anniversary of Kurdi’s death. Penguin Canada will support publication with a major marketing and publicity campaign. The book will be published simultaneously by Riverhead in the US and Bloomsbury in the UK.

Khaled Hosseini said: “We are living in the midst of a displacement crisis of enormous proportions.  Sea Prayer is an attempt to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Alan Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution.”

Penguin Canada Publisher Nicole Winstanley said: “Khaled Hosseini has moved countless readers across Canada—his words enlighten us, they captivate us, they give us hope. His heartfelt engagement with the refugee crisis is exactly what we all need to read now. We are lucky to have this beautiful gift from one of the most cherished, deeply humane writers of our time.”

Khaled Hosseini is the author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed. His books have sold over 55 million copies worldwide. In 2006 Khaled Hosseini was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador:

Dan Williams is a London-based artist whose illustrations accompanied an extract of The Kite Runner in the Guardian when it was first published 15 years ago. His work has also appeared in National Geographic, Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal, amongst many other publications.

Khaled Hosseini will donate author proceeds from this book to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund life-saving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

About Penguin Canada
Penguin Canada, founded in 1974, is honoured to publish works by Arundhati Roy, John le Carré, Margaret MacMillan, Zadie Smith, Helen Macdonald, Wab Kinew, Tim Cook and John Ralston Saul, among many others. Penguin Canada is an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.

For more information please contact Kaitlin Smith at 416-957-1563 or

For more information on UNHCR and/or Khaled Hosseini’s role as Goodwill Ambassador please contact Coco Campbell +447715420076