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COMING BACK

COMING BACK

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by Edoardo Albinati

Translated by Howard Curtis

Winner of the prestigious John Florio Prize for Italian Translation; A solid contribution to a rising genre: the noncombatant's war memoir - Kirkus Review; First time that we see the war through the eyes of a novelist and a poet; Royalties to be donated to a charity providing housing for refugees in the highlands of Afghanistan March 2002: the repatriation of Afghan refugees begins. It is one of the largest migrations in history, an exodus of biblical proportions, yet this time people are not fleeing, but returning to their own country, where they find demolished houses, mined fields and no water supplies. Edoardo Albinati spent four months in Afghanistan working in the UNHCR centres where the tide of returnees was at its peak. He travelled around the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, the deserts and the rural areas in search of solutions for the reintegration of the refugees. This book - written with the zest of a diarist and peopled by a myriad unforgettable faces and stories - is the daily account of what he saw, heard and did (or tried to do) while hundreds of thousands of people struggling for survival rolled past in overcrowded trucks. It is the critical, impassioned testimony of a gigantic collective effort whose outcome is still highly uncertain.

Publication date: 15/04/2004