The Go-Between: A Portrait of Growing Up Between Different Worlds (Hardback)
  • The Go-Between: A Portrait of Growing Up Between Different Worlds (Hardback)
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The Go-Between: A Portrait of Growing Up Between Different Worlds (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 368 Pages
Published: 27/01/2022
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Waterstones Says

Osman’s beautifully observed memoir of growing up in a devout, patriarchal Pashtun community in the middle of the red-light district of 1980s Birmingham is an eye-opening story of navigating racism and community expectations that sheds new light on the complex make-up of multicultural Britain.

A coming-of-age story set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, The Go-Between opens a window into a closed migrant community living in a red-light district on the wrong side of the tracks.

The adult world is seen through Osman's eyes as a child: his own devout Pashtun patriarchal community, with its divide between the world of men and women, living cheek-by-jowl with parallel migrant communities. The orthodox attend a mosque down the road from the prostitutes and pimps. Children balance Western school teachings with cultural traditions.

Alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles, and female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail. The stories Osman tells, some fantastical and humorous, others melancholy and even harrowing, take us from the Birmingham of Osman's childhood to the banks of the river Kabul and the river Indus, and, eventually, to the London of his teenage years.

Osman weaves in and out of these worlds, struggling with the dual burdens of racism and community expectations, as he is forced to realise it is no longer possible to exist in the spaces in between.

Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 9781786893529
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 479 g
Dimensions: 220 x 144 x 34 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A beautifully observed and funny book' - Guardian

'Osman's compelling and humane memoir shines light into a hidden world I didn't realise existed down the road from me. It's an essential book that will help you understand multicultural Britain in all its complexities' - Sathnam Sanghera

'The Go-Between is a portrait of the artist as a young man in a strictly religious immigrant community. Its colorful, compulsively readable evocation of childhood clashes between faith and self, family and freedom, is profoundly moving and beautifully wrought. Yousefzada's journey from the home of an illiterate seamstress, shadowed by domestic violence, is extraordinary to witness. This debut is both an essential meditation on identity, and a transcendently great story' - Katie Roiphe

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“Compelling, thought provoking and beautiful.”

Osman is a perceptive child who takes you on a journey with him as he watches the world he grows up in.

This world is rich in pain, laughter and kindness. Family dynamics, class politics and the challenges of... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

“Inspiring”

I come from the same community that Osman is from. I know his family, his mother and sister in law made clothes for the community. He changes lots of stuff around and mixes it all up, but the book is incredibly... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 11

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