Title: Elsewhere, home
Author: Leila Aboulela
Page count: 224
Release day: February 2nd 2019
Rating: 3 stars
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this arc!*
What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)
From one of our
finest contemporary writers whose work has been praised by J.M. Coetzee, Ali
Smith and Aminatta Forna, Leila Aboulela’s Elsewhere, Home offers
us a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, attempting to navigate the
conflicts of assimilation and difference in an unfamiliar world.
A young woman’s encounter with a former classmate elicits painful reminders of her former life in Khartoum. A wealthy Sudanese student in Aberdeen begins an unlikely friendship with a Scottish man. A woman experiences an evolving relationship to her favourite writer, whose portrait of their shared culture both reflects and conflicts with her own sense of identity.
Shuttling between the dusty, sun-baked streets of Khartoum and the university halls and cramped apartments of Aberdeen and London, Elsewhere, Home explores, with subtlety and restraint, the profound feelings of yearning, loss and alienation that come with leaving one’s homeland in pursuit of a different life.
What I thought:
Normally I’m not a big fan of short story collections, since most of the time they feel either too short or pointless.. But I want to try this one out since this book is own voices, the author is born in Egypt!
This is a collection of short stories about life as an immigrant, and finding your own way in a new country. This was really interesting to read, since I have no idea how this is. It was really nice that there were so many (13) stories, all with a different tale to tell. So you get to see a lot of different situations. And you get to learn a lot about the culture.
I did struggle a bit with the length of the stories. Sometimes the stories were a bit short and I would have liked to learn a bit more about certain characters and it felt like they stopped a bit abruptly. While other stories felt a bit too long. And of course there were stories that were exactly the right length 🙂
This is more a personal preference, but I would have liked if the longer stories would have been split up in smaller chapters. I usually lose my focus if chapters are too long, regardless of how much I’m liking the stories.
I would recommend this book if you want the learn more about immigrant, especially Muslim immigrants from Egypt who moved to England/ Schotland.
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Do you read short stories collections?