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Winner of the 2008 Authors' Club Best First Novel Award
It's Berlin; sometime in the 1980s. Vincent is an overweight, vaguely unhappy photographer who lives in a small flat in a house owned by a demented landlady. His neighbours and friends include an ex-marine transsexual escort girl, an East European refugee, a Nigerian playboy and various 'artistic types'. Vincent misses Lucille, the girl he left behind in London; he has not spoken to his adoptive father for years and resents his older brother's success. He isn't doing very much at all. Then a chance encounter in a bar, the murder of a local politician and an urgent letter from his aunt shake up his world and Vincent finally has to stop slacking and take some control.
Building on themes explored in his collection of short stories, A Life Elsewhere, Afolabi presents a Germany of immigrants and insiders both. This is a moving novel about the personal politics of identity and a gentle exploration of the nature of true love.
- Random House, May 2010
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