When he lands in Harare North, our unnamed protagonist carries nothing but a cardboard suitcase full of memories and a longing to be reunited with his childhood friend, Shingi.
He ends up in Shingi's Brixton squat where the inhabitants function at various levels of desperation. Shingi struggles to find meaningful work and to meet the demands of his family back home; Tsitsi makes a living renting her baby out to women defrauding the Social Services.
As our narrator struggles to make his way in 'Harare North', negotiating life outside the legal economy and battling with the weight of what he has left behind in strife-torn Zimbabwe, every expectation and preconception is turned on its head.
This is the story of a stranger in a strange land - one of the thousands of illegal immigrants seeking a better life in England - with a past he is determined to hide.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 170 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm
"A debut novel at once lyrical and gritty, offering an unsentimental view of the African immigrant experience in London's Brixton" * Scotsman *
"It's the darkest of comedies, fuelled by an eccentric, wholly convincing voice" * Observer *
"An hilarious and wrenching examination of immigrant life... From a prodigiously talented and uncompromising writer" -- Ali Smith
"Chikwava has created an utterly compelling anti-hero... Mesmerising" * Guardian *
"A writer to watch. Brian Chikwava's language is lively and witty and it turns the London you know upside down" -- Maggie Gee