Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Keys of Babylon ~ Robert Minhinnick

The Keys of BabylonSet in China, Wales, the U.S, Albania, Mexico and London, this collection of linked stories explores migration. The collection is divided into two sections, the first shows characters searching for better lives, the second revisits the characters on the 13th August allowing the reader to discover what has happened to them. The first story 'At a Dictator's Grave' follows Mic from Albania to Kings Cross - 'the centre of the world' - where he remembers his past in the Champagne Bar at St. Pancras Station with a prostitute, Li. Later, in the second half of the book the reader revisits Mic in his hostel to see him looking for Li while in terrible danger during the night. 'In Those Days There Were Lions in Iraq' introduces the reader to disenfranchised environmental campaigner, Mascen whose acquaintance, Mohammed, reveals how he was able to 'rescue' various items from a Baghdad Museum and use the proceeds to build a new life in Poole, Dorset. The return to Mascen's story is more hopeful than Mic's but it is still laced with sadness. It's hard to do justice to almost three hundred pages of meticulously researched, exquisitely written prose in a couple of hundred words.

Read a review of the collection here.
Read about Minhinnick's work here.

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