The child’s hand groping out of the earth is undoubtedly real. As real as Cabdi’s own hand, when it lay on the earth after the machete fell, long ago.
But this hand is alive. And it isn’t in a war-zone. It’s in the playground of a school, just outside the grounds of the English psychiatric hospital where Cabdi is now held. And the man who is stamping on the moving hand is a pigeater.
Pigeaters are in charge of everything. As an accidental asylum seeker, Cabdi is friendless in a country he does not know. He cannot speak English. But he knows that he should not have gone into the playground. He should not have seen the hand in the earth. And whatever lies behind this, it is not his war.
He walks away.
Why should the crime have a witness, anyway?
Asylum is a dark book, perhaps a very dark book, but as one reviewer commented it is “one of those unique stories that leave a deep imprint on your mind … and yet, there is a specific beauty that makes you believe in life’s goodness and gives you the will to live on.”
Targeted Age Group: 18+
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