Thursday, 22 September 2011

Nushin Arbabzadah’s “From Outside In: Refugees and British Society”


This book portrays many refugee situations and gives us some understanding of what it is like to be a refugee. It contains a section some 24 pages long that describes some of the experiences of those who came from Germany on the Kindertransport. These are eye-witness reports BUT are written in retrospect. Also, two of the writers, Irene K. Schmied (fiction-writer) and Lotte Kramer (poet) are creative writers. Schmied also contributes a section of life-writing on her perception of the reaction of others to the Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street station, London.
I’m really pleased that some of the scenes I’ve created in the Renate strand of the novel resonate quite well with what Schmied and Kramer have written.
I’ve managed to create those scenes because of the evidence I have from the letters, my mother-in-law’s diary and from remembered conversations. Naturally, that ever-ready writer’s tool, the imagination, has also played its part. There are also the by osmosis-through-reading absorbed skills that we writers “catch” from each other.      

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