For Books' Sake have already given Asylum and Exile an attentive and very generous 5 star review which can be read here and there has also been some great press in Nose In A Book as well as a long interview in Asian Culture Culture. I've covered the project in a recent Guardian article headlined I want to give asylum seekers in Britain a chance to tell their own story and in an essay for the Free Word's Briefing Notes series: Asylum and refuge in Britain. I've also discussed the issues in my introduction to Big Writing for A Small World (Scribd copy of English PEN publication) and the articles Rape, refusal, denial, detention: refugees dancing at the edge of the world and Asylum: no woman should be missed out. English PEN have written up the debate at one of my events on this issue in a wonderful piece here. I have also written up my visit to a UK detention centre for the Free Word's essay series: Life is a scary movie: Inside a UK detention centre.
In-depth audio interviews:
- Mehvish Arshad at Asia House has published an long text and audio interview with me here (Jan 2015)
- Donna Freed at Radio Gorgeous has produced a beautiful half-hour interview with me here (February 2015)
- I also discussed the book briefly at the end of my interview on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends (Jan 2015, last item, now lapsed).
Asylum and Exile follows the publication, in May 2012, of my fourth book Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path Through Palestine. An extensive selection of 2012 and 2013 interviews and press can be found here and a March 2014 interview by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore can be found here. The British Council have written up a very kind and comprehensive Critical Perspective on my career (click Read More on this linked page) and some recent press shots are here and there's a full press release just below this video of me giving some readings from the book. I come in at 57:58
I see books like Asylum and Exile as evidence of a deep seated refusal to tolerate the divisive politics that extend right across the political divide. Well done for speaking up and bearing witness. We must never stop telling the stories of those we consign to the margins.
It’s a little book, but in its 150-odd pages it manages to be wide in scope yet intimate, funny, warm, sad and horrifying. ...Asylum and Exile is a 4 star read, with an additional star because it’s so fundamentally important.
The result of Bidisha’s outreach work with refugees and asylum seekers since 2012, Asylum and Exile goes behind the stereotypes and scare stories to reveal the humanity, tragedy and bravery – and frequently the humour – of the individuals who’ve left everything behind to seek sanctuary from violence.
Poster greeting arrivals at Praxis