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The Go-Between: A Portrait of Growing Up Between Different Worlds
  • ISBN: 9781838859787
  • Pages: 368
  • Publication date: 26 January 2023
  • Publisher: Canongate
  • Binding: Paperback

The Go-Between: A Portrait of Growing Up Between Different Worlds - Release date: 26 January 2023

Osman Yousefzada
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Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2022.

A coming-of-age story set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, The Go-Between opens a window into a closed migrant community living in a red-light district on the wrong side of the tracks.

The adult world is seen through Osman Yousefzada’s eyes as a child: his own devout Pashtun patriarchal community, with its divide between the world of men and women, living cheek-by-jowl with parallel migrant communities. Alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles, and female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail.

The stories Osman tells, some fantastical and humorous, others melancholy and even harrowing, take us from the Birmingham of Osman’s childhood to the banks of the river Kabul and the river Indus, and, eventually, to the London of his teenage years. Osman weaves in and out of these worlds, struggling with the dual burdens of racism and community expectations, as he is forced to realize it is no longer possible to exist in the spaces in between.

‘A beautifully observed and funny boo’ Guardian

‘Compelling and humane’ Sathnam Sanghera



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