Asylum and Exile – The hidden voices of London by Bidisha is a collection of stories – real-life stories. They remind us what it means to migrate, to search for a new (better?) life, to look for work, love, attachment – a home. As the reader, I do not get the comfort zone of fiction – these are people with real woes, sorrows and some happy encounters. Manny, Elodie, Marie, Glorianna and all the others do not have much in common, but in the public perception, they are often viewed as one anonymous group of refugees. For me, it is the greatest achievement of this book to lift these people from this anonymity and introduce them to us, the readers. They arrive from different places and backgrounds and – although in the same country now – do not want the same things from life. One thing they DO have in common, though, is the desire for physical safety and no violence. They’ve given up a lot and face a lot of unknown quantities. Frequently highly educated and equipped with at least one university degrees, they have to start from scratch. Their documented new beginnings show a glimpse of hope. Thank you, Bidisha, for unlocking „….the lost people in the city.“ The city that is London. And thank you to Seagull Books for this honest account of what it means to live in a new and often hostile place.
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A new life?
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