A retired university professor in Berlin befriends a group of African asylum seekers and attempts to help them in various ways, so begins this sensitive and powerful novel. It cleverly portrays the culture gap as neither party knows anything about each other's history despite Richard's academic credentials, and their interactions show how the help he offers is informed by his own view of what is essential. Their common ground is hard won but the echoes of the East German perspective ripple through the book, without offering redemption the novel's main power is the subtle way it humanises all the characters. A must read.
A portrait of the chaotic and seamy underside of San Francisco's Mission district in which the narrator Jesse 'dabbles in perversity' with frightening abandon. The writing is exquisitely real, exhilarating while the book explores themes of self-annihilation, sex as a substitute for love, violence and power and how the main character, drawn to people who screw her over, finds self sabotage a transgressive act. Not for the faint-hearted.
Published by Canongate on 17th January 2019
This mindblowing dystopian short story collection was written in response to the cruel prejudice of the US justice system and explores racism and capitalism in America. The prose is at once surreal, tender, brutal and full of wonder. It’s easy to see why this timely book is making waves. A must read.
As Nana Kwame says himself, ‘I’m interested in the way we dehumanise one another, and in our capacity for good despite the insidious hatred and fear all around us. These stories were tough to write. And yet in that space of difficulty and fear, I find necessity and purpose.’