MacLehose Press

The Last Brother

by Nathacha Appanah
Translated by Geoffrey Strachan

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Raj is oblivious to the Second World War being fought beyond his tiny exotic island. His mother is his sole company while his father works as a prison guard, so the boy thinks only of making friends.
One day, from the far-away world, a ship brings to the island Jewish exiles who have been refused entry to Israel. David, a recently orphaned boy of his own age from Prague, becomes the friend that he has longed for, and Raj takes it upon himself to help David to escape from the prison. As they flee through sub-tropical forests and devastating storms, the boys battle hunger and malaria – and forge a friendship only death could destroy.

‘Sophisticated, confident and beautifully poetic writing that’s tender and poignant and consistently captivating … a remarkable and precise portrait of a childhood that both convinces and moves’ Daniel Hahn, Bookseller.

‘The rich implications of history … that lie behind its comparatively simple story would have won the admiration of Margeurite Yourcenar’ Paul Binding, Times Literary Supplement.

‘A lushly beautiful child’s-eye tale’ Boyd Tonkin, Independent.

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