‘Thanks to the astuteness of Alam’s ability to weave individual stories into one coherent protagonist, there’s enough here to give even the most elusive Whitehall cost-cutter a chance to understand what it is to be a community.’ – Philip Wood, The Student Journals.
Here’s a sample of one of the individual stories from The Invisible Village.
You know why we came to England? Because my mother and mother-in-law family have a blood feud. You know what that means? It means that one family kill somebody and my family have to kill somebody too. Then the first family have to kill another one. It is a long time and that’s why we came out. My husband say, ‘I have only got one son, when he is growing up, I don’t want anyone to kill him.’ About forty-five people in our families killed. My six uncles: all dead by blood feud. When we told Home Office, they didn’t believe us. He said we could go to another city. How can you go to another city?
Every night I am watching news, reading and studying on the computer. I want to learn anything. When I wake up in the morning, I forget everything: every single thing. I am saying, What am I doing? I don’t know what I did on night, because I am taking a tablet to sleep as well. If I don’t take a tablet I am awake and just thinking and thinking. Can’t close my eyes. The past. Feelings get into my head again. We were so rich, we were very very rich. We have a big house, 500 metres was only our house, with seven bedrooms. People came to clean my house two times a week, every week. I don’t do anything.
It was very scary the first time we came to Golcar. After one week I went to town with my husband and at every single bus stop I am thinking, My God, where is my house? Now it’s okay, it’s very safe.
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