Format: Paperback
Book type: Anthology
ISBN-13: 9781910974308
Published: 12 Jul 2017


RRP: £9.99

UK Shipping from £4.00


Upon changing his religion, a young man is denounced as an apostate and flees his country hiding in the back of a freezer lorry…

After years of travelling and losing almost everything – his country, his children, his wife, his farm – an Afghan man finds unexpected warmth and comfort in a stranger’s home...

A student protester is forced to leave his homeland after a government crackdown, and spends the next 25 years in limbo, trapped in the UK asylum system...

Modelled on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the second volume of Refugee Tales sets out to communicate the experiences of those who, having sought asylum in the UK, find themselves indefinitely detained. Here, poets and novelists create a space in which the stories of those who have been detained can be safely heard, a space in which hospitality is the prevailing discourse and listening becomes an act of welcome.

All profits go to the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and Kent Refugee Help.

See Era of Reclamation: Refugee Tales at The British Museum event HERESee Refugee Tales at Manchester University event HERE


'A wonderful way of re-humanising some of the most vulnerable and demonised people on the planet.’ - Shami Chakrabarti 
Shami calls for a future without Detention and reads 'The Time Traveller's Tale' - watch on Youtube

'This stark short story collection will shake you to the core' - Reader's Digest

'The sensitive and extremely poignant way the accounts are communicated does them the justice they deserve' - The Morning Star

'What a fantastic project that so successfully marries all those involved with the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group with the writers and those who shared their tales.' - The Letterpress Project

'This is what literature and these stories are able to present; the breadth of these people’s lives. Something an image based media cannot hope to accomplish. But what makes Refugee Tales unique, and which also spares it from accusations of choir pandering, is the feeling of ineptitude inherent in these writers trying to express the stories of refugees.' - Disclaimer

'A book which I hope will change the world- or at least begin to.' - Yvette Huddleston, The Yorkshire Post  

'All the tales in the two volumes are at once deeply personal and “world-sized”, and the question of how best to convey both their specificity and their representativeness is clearly a significant one for the writers involved.' - Tom White, The Glasgow Review of Books

'As a witnessing of a hidden humanitarian crisis within the UK, the stories are necessary and compelling; purely on the merit of the writing, they are an excellent read. The telling of the stories is varied, but all are told with respect and a sense of responsibility to their subjects.' - Shazea Quraishi, Wasafari


Read the Wasafiri interview with Olivia Laing about her work with Refugee Tales.

Read Helen Macdonald's story 'The Student's Tales' in The Irish Times

Read about indefinite immigration detention and the work of Refugee Tales in The Guardian.


Neel Mukherjee discussed his story 'The Soldier's Tale' with Mary Barrett from the Refugee Tales charity on BBC Asian Network. Read the full transcript on The Comma Press Blog.

Watch Kamila Shamsie talk about the horrors of indefinite detention and her story 'The Lover's Tale' on Channel 4 News with Cathy Newman.

Niamh Cusack reads The Student's Tale (recorded by Denise Else at Kingston, 2nd July 2017) - listen on Soundcloud

Marina Warner reads The Mother's Tale (recorded at Manchester Literature Festival, October 2017) - watch on YouTube

Kamila Shamsie calling for a future without Detention (July 2020) - watch on YouTube