Refugee Tales, edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus
Edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus
Just as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales told the stories of travellers on their journey to spiritual redemption, Refugee Tales consists of stories and poems about 14 individuals whose precarious travels, not all of which are successful, have defined them. The stories are distressingly common experiences for millions, and here they are given shape with great care and respect by academics, novelists and poets. Many of the stories are disheartening, but some are surprising, such as that of the trans-Europe lorry driver who finds his own way to balance the scales of social inequality. Man Booker-shortlisted writer Ali Smith relates the story of a detainee whose experience is made all the more chilling for the matter-of-fact way it is told. And that’s the thing about refugees the world over: their stories are matters of fact, of lives lived in harrowing circumstances. If there was any alternative to their life-threatening journeys, they would take it; if endangering their lives in the hope of a future was not their only chance, they would not do so. All profits from the book go to the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and Kent Refugee Help.