by Paul Kenyon - £10.99 Preface Publishing (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781848091481 | ISBN 10: 1848091486
Eighty miles off the Libyan coast water is leaking rapidly into the bottom of a dilapidated wooden boat. Twenty-seven men, crammed in side-by-side, desperately attempt to bail it out, but the boat is sinking. In the distance one of their number spots a ship and, forcing the last moments of life from the engine, they move towards it. But the crew refuses to allow them on board. Instead the men scramble onto the floats of a huge industrial tuna net, and watch as their boat rolls over and disappears into the heaving Mediterranean.
Like tens of thousands of others Justice set off from his rural village with an idealised vision of an new life in England – the 'home' country – desperate just to earn his way and help his orphaned brother and sister left behind. During his long journey to the African coast, he’s captured, jailed and tortured, before escaping and heading northwards again. Once in Tripoli he’s duped into handing over his life savings for a trip in a wreck of a boat across miles of open sea to almost certain death. But there is also compassion here and he meets old and wise souls along the way.
The tuna net is not the end of Justice's story. It is an extraordinary tale of courage, and an important account of a life caught between cultures, on the edge of survival.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2018)
In booklists: Africa, Immigration, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, In categories: World - Africa, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State, Anti-Racism, Peace & Human Rights, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,