Refugee Tales II edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus

Browser review

Migrants and refugees in a rubber dinghy arriving at Psalidi on Kos, Greece. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Migrants and refugees in a rubber dinghy arriving at Psalidi on Kos, Greece. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Sat, Sep 9, 2017, 00:00

   
 

Book Title:
Refugee Tales II

ISBN-13:
9781910974308

Author:
Ed. David Herd and Anna Pincus

Publisher:
Comma Press

Guideline Price:
£9.99

This is second instalment of Refugee Tales, where renowned novelists and poets use their own words to retell the stories of Britain’s asylum seekers. The anthology draws parallels to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, lending these modern-day pilgrims a literary voice. The policy of indefinite immigration detention is examined from the eyes of its victims and its enforcers. A home office official describes how he sees more in what is not said, rather than what is; voluntary workers lend their expertise to the destitute and desperate; a priest considers offering sanctuary within the walls of his church. Anonymity allows these refugees to reveal aspects of their lives that may never have been vocalised before. They fled their “country of origin” in fear, believing they were headed for a country with human rights, instead finding themselves in the limbo of indefinite detention. Writer Olivia Lang sums up the policy in her story of a man who has been 25 years in this system: “That is what detention is: a thief of talent, of energy, of time.”