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Forest Gate

by Peter Akinti

Meina’s family situation is desperate – her parents were killed in Somalia and her brother makes a suicide pact with his friend, James: he dies but James lives to return to his drug dealing family. Against this bleakest of backdrops, Meina and James cling to each other and find love. This is a moving, powerful and dark history of our times.

Extract

Those boys. Always standing in the same spot. Sometimes at night I watched them out of my bedroom window. I have been doing my own private psychological study of them and I still can't work out what it is they do on their corner. I call it the poverty effect and they have immersed themselves. They don't sell drugs or fight. They just stand there talking real fast into pretend microphones. Maybe being bums is the best thing for it. Perhaps that is what happens when adults screw each other indiscriminately. At some stage everyone becomes part of each other and then we just all hang out. Get along like a faded Benetton ad or the Jolie-Pitts.

Parallels

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
 

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