March 03, 2022
What we’re reading for World Book Day
It’s World Book Day. Reading is a way of learning about others — whether through fiction or non-fiction. Here, members of the LRMN team share some of their favourite and most powerful reads.
“This is an all time favourite. An autobiographic graphic novel by a young Persian woman who grew up in Iran during the Islamist Revolution. This novel is sardonic, unexpected, and sincere and it has won numerous literary awards, it’s also credited with helping to introduce graphic art as a serious literary medium. Incredible!”
– A number of members of staff recommended this one, including Elizabeth, one our Immigration Advisors
Chinese Whispers: the True Story Behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour
“This non-fiction book reveals a first hand account of what it is like to live undocumented in the UK and the choices people have to make when they are in this situation.”
– Mark, Immigration Manager
“I love this book because it offers interesting ways of holistic community work and shows how valuable really listening to people is. Inspiring.”
– Kelly, LRMN Volunteer
When the Moon is Low
“I have read many books about the lives of refugees but this book really stayed with me. So much of the story took place in the ‘inbetween spaces’ of my own hometown, Athens – in doorsteps, alleyways, train platforms. Places I have waited for answers too. And that’s what being a refugee is often like, just waiting.”
– Hera, Campaigns, Communications and Fundraising Manager
The Art of Losing
“A three generation story availing the consequences of colonisation, the pain of immigration, the loss of a country and identity. A granddaughter investigating her family untold story starting with her grandfather at the birst of Alegria independence and the choice he had to make. What a powerful story!”
– Clémentine, Receptionist and Admin Assistant
The End of Where We Begin
This book tells the true stories of three refugees fleeing the civil war in South Sudan. It recounts how their lives are brutally ripped apart by war and how they struggle to heal. Part of the book covers the impact of Covid-19 on the lives of those in Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Uganda which was a harsh reminder that the pandemic cut off vital support to refugees across the globe.
– Alan, Head of Operations
Refugees and Gender
“This book, and its author, changed my views on life and have led me to where I am today. Once I arrived in the UK in 2003, I met a few women who had fled their countries because of gender violence and were seeking asylum. All were turned down, and as a feminist and union worker for women’s rights back home, I was furious at the UK asylum process. This is how I met Heaven Crawley, who set me on the path to earning a BA in sociology and an MSc in International Development ( option International Migration ) and finally a PhD on Gender and Forced Migration. My companion on this journey has been her book.”
– Latefa, Integration Officer, Refugee Resettlement Scheme
Reading gives us insight into the realities of being from a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker background. It can build empathy and understanding, as well as remind us of the importance of listening. Have any of these books inspired you?