Magazine article New Internationalist

The White City

Magazine article New Internationalist

The White City

Article excerpt

The White City by Roma Tearne (GallicBooks, ISBN 978 1 910709429)

London, the White City, had been so named by the mayor to emphasize its cleanliness (in contrast to the surrounding countryside, riddled with animal-borne disease). But now it is also white because it has been encased in snow and ice for 27 years.

The moniker is a slap in the face to Londoners such as narrator Hera, Muslim by birth but atheist by conviction. She recalls how, three decades ago, a government powerless in the face of an emerging environmental catastrophe turned its attention to an enemy it thought it could defeat: radical Islam. Her brother is arrested and sent overseas to the Guantánamo-like Arena camp, with devastating consequences for her family. Hatred and suspicion are rife, tearing communities apart. …

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