by Olumide Popoola & Annie Holmes
A Peirene Commission – out 1 August 2016
‘This is what fiction is for. These stories refresh difficult territory in ways that other writing cannot reach. Tender, tragic, funny (sometimes), persuasive.’ Sara Maitland, writer
‘A tender and fierce display of the best features of writing – insight and grace.’ Maxine Chernoff, writer
‘Powerful and important voices that need to be heard by the widest possible audience.’ Ardashir Vakil, author
breach -noun: An act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct . A gap in a wall,
barrier, or defence…
breach – verb: Make a gap in and break through (a wall, barrier, or defence). (Of a whale) rise and break through the surface of the water.
‘The Jungle is like a laboratory.’
In the refugee camp known as The Jungle an illusion is being disrupted: that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out.
Calais is a border town. Between France and Britain. Between us and them. The eight short stories in this collection explore the refugee crisis through fiction. They give voice to the hopes and fears of both sides. Dlo and Jan break into refrigerated trucks bound for the UK. Marjorie, a volunteer, is happy to mingle in the camps until her niece goes a step too far. Mariam lies to her mother back home. With humour, insight and empathy breach tackles an issue that we can no longer ignore.
breach is the first title in the Peirene Now! series. This exciting new series will be made up of commissioned works of new fiction, which engage with the political issues of the day. In breach, the authors beautifully capture a multiplicity of voices – refugees, volunteers, angry citizens – whilst deftly charting a clear narrative path through it all. Each story is different in tone, and yet they complement one another perfectly. Taken as a whole, this stands as an empathetic and probing collage, where the words ‘home’, ‘displacement’ and ‘integration’ come to mean many things as the collection progresses to a moving finale.