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Details of Refugee

Exact title of book
Book author
Emmanuel Mbolela
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Apr 20, 2021
File size (in PDF)
2304 kB

Some brief overview of book

A harrowing and insightful memoir about a migrants six-year journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Netherlands Persecuted for political reasons, Emmanuel Mbolela left the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002. His search for a new home would take six years. Mbolela endured corrupt customs officials, duplicitous smugglers, Saharan ambushes, and untenable living conditions.

In his firsthand account, he relates not only the storms of his long journey, but also the periods of calm. Faced with privation, he finds comfort in a migrants hideout, overseen by community leaders at once paternal and mercenary. When he finally reaches Morocco, he finds himself stranded for almost four years.

And yet he perseveres in his search for the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeesalways closed indefinitely just before his arrival in a given citywhere a migrant might receive an asylum seekers official certificates. His account is of an experience both private and collective. As he testifies, the horrors of migration fall hardest on female migrants, but those same women embody the fiercest resistance to the regime of violence that would deny them their humanity.

While still a migrant, Mbolela became an advocate. He tells the story of how he founded and headed the Association of Congolese Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Morocco to fight for migrant rights. Since obtaining political asylum in Holland in 2008, he has remained a committed activist.

In Refugee, he provides an overlooked perspective on a global crisis.

About book author

Mbolela is an author, an activist, and a refugee. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and studied economics in Mbuji-Mayi. In 2002, he was arrested because of his political engagement.

After his release, he was forced to emigrate, embarking on a six-year odyssey through West Africa, the Sahara, and Morocco. In 2008 he received asylum in the Netherlands. He originally published Refugee in German in 2014.

Charlotte Collins translates literary fiction and plays from the German. She was awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translators Prize in 2017 for A Whole Life by the Austrian author Robert Seethaler, which was also short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize. Her other translations include Seethaler's The Tobacconist, Homeland by Walter Kempowski, The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells, and Nino Haratischwilis The Eighth Life (cotranslated with Ruth Martin).

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On Mar 01, 2021 average price