Format: Paperback
Book type: Anthology
ISBN-13: 9781912697113
Published: 06 Jun 2019


RRP: £9.99

UK Shipping from £4.00


With nationalism and the far right on the rise across Europe and North America, there has never been a more important moment to face up to what we, in Britain, are doing to those who seek sanctuary. Still the UK detains people indefinitely under immigration rules. Bail hearings go unrecorded, people are picked up without notice, individuals feel abandoned in detention centres with no way of knowing when they will be released.

In Refugee Tales III we read the stories of people who have been through this process, many of whom have yet to see their cases resolved and who live in fear that at any moment they might be detained again. Poets, novelists and writers have once again collaborated with people who have experienced detention, their tales appearing alongside first-hand accounts by people who themselves have been detained. What we hear in these stories are the realities of the hostile environment, the human costs of a system that disregards rights, that denies freedoms and suspends lives.

‘We hear so many of the wrong words about refugees – ugly, limiting, unimaginative words – that it feels like a gift to find here so many of the right words which allow us to better understand the lives around us, and our own lives too.’ – Kamila Shamsie

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


Alex Preston writes for The Observer about the importance of books that help us understand the refugee crisis, including Refugee Tales III, highlighting David Constantine's 'The Orphan's Tale' which gives voice to M, a traumatised child from Sierra Leone, orphaned by the civil war there.

'The preparation of living corpses': David Herd on why the Refugee Tales are still necessary after five years - an edited version of his afterword published in The Times Literary Supplement.

'Barely a week passes without a reminder that we are living in a moment in which regimes of all kinds have defaulted to arbitrary and extended detention as a way of addressing human movement.' - co-editor David Herd talks to The British Academy about the work of Refugee Tales.

Monica Ali discusses the UK's use of immigration detention centres and indefinite detention on BBC Radio 4's A Point of View.


'To be able to get your teeth into something like this and join the fight to change current legislation by telling these stories, has been wonderful, and luckily fiction is a very powerful too.' - Patrick Gale interviewed by Ox in a Box about his experience writing his story. 

'Their writing humanises a crisis often rendered in statistics.' - Read The Economist's write-up of the Refugee Tales Walk of 2019 and Refugee Tales III launch event. 

'We hear in these stories the realities of the hostile environment [of detention], the human costs of a system that disregards rights, that denies freedoms and suspends lives.' Read more about the project in an interview with editors David Herd and Anna Pincus at Info Migrants.

'The tales told in this book have the power to humanise better than any news reports or cold numbers... If anything is require reading in 2019, it's this book.' - Books and Bao 

'These powerful, beautifully written stories trade the dominant vocabulary of administrative indifference for a language of apples and orchards, threads and fabrics, English classes and dancing moves. This it the language we need in order to overcome the Europe of hard borders, disbelief and indefinite detention, and to build a future where human stories, empathy and sanctuary no longer constitute a revolutionary act.' - Routed Magazine

'Refugee Tales: Volume III is a really laudable and invaluable book that has the power to make people aware of situations and circumstances they may not have been familiar with and to encourage them to rethink, question and transform their attitudes and understanding.' - Nudge Book Magazine

'Each one of us should feel an obligation to read this book.' - Northern Soul

'It's not an easy read by any means, but Refugee Tales III is a powerful collection that should be read by anyone looking to learn more about the reality of life as a refugee...' Sabotage Reviews

'In sparse language we hear with a heart-wrenching immediacy and intimacy of brutalities and injustices of refugee life in Britain, but also of hope and optimism in the hardest circumstances.' - Kerry Hudson, The Big Issue 

Read EFL Magazine review Refugee Tales III with a focus on Emma Parson's story "The Teacher's Tale", on working as an English Language teacher with detained refugees.



Read Lisa Appignanesi's 'The Dancer's Tale' on Refugee Hosts.

Read Abdulrazak Gurnah's 'The Stateless Person's Tale' at Glasgow Review of Books.

Read A's 'The Foster Child's Tale' at Glasgow Review of Books.

Read Monica Ali's 'The Son's Tale' at Berfrois.

Read Patrick Gale's 'The Embroiderer's Tale' at Lacuna Magazine.

Read Lytton Smith's 'The Pruner's Tale' at Boston Review.

Read Jonathan Wittenberg's 'The Erased Person's Tale' featured as The Guardian's Long Read.



Listen to David Herd discuss the Refugee Tales project on The TLS Podcast.

Listen to Emma Parsons discuss her story 'The Teacher's Tale' on 'Between the Lines', the IDS' podcast series. 

Jonathan Wittenberg calls for a future with Detention - watch on YouTube.