Magazine article New Internationalist

Burrow

Magazine article New Internationalist

Burrow

Article excerpt

Burrow

by Manzu Islam (Peepal Tree Press ISBN 1900715 90 2) Manzu Islam's admirable début novel is set in London in the 19705, on '·;·· the frontline of confrontation between the immigrant communities and the thugs of the National Front. In this world of Anti-Nazi League rallies, Rock against Racism concerts and street battles in Brick Lane, Tapan AIi, a student from Bangladesh, is brought face to face with the fragility of his circumstances in Britain. When his marriage of convenience to Adela, a fellow student, fails, he is reported to the immigration service and becomes an 'illegal' - a failed asylum seeker, in today's hideous argot. /,

Tapan enters a subterranean world - the secret city within the city - moving between squalid safe houses and exploitative jobs. His twin Jenemies are the Immigration Department surveillance squads and the informers, the 'rats' who betray illegals to the authorities. …

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