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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472250254

Price: £10.99

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‘A quicksilver astonishment of a book. Just read it’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave
‘A rollercoaster coming of age picaresque’ Observer
‘A provocative powder keg. So compelling’ Times

An exuberantly imaginative novel of Britishness and unbelonging from the prizewinning author of In Our Mad and Furious City.

When Yahya Bas finds himself in a UK detention centre after fleeing the conflict in Syria, he has many questions to face. What was he doing in the desert? Why does he hate this country? Why did he write the incendiary verses which turned him into an online sensation and a media pariah?

Mister, his interrogator, wants to keep him locked up. So he decides to tell his life story. On his own terms.
Following a child that East Ham made who becomes the unwitting voice of a generation, Mister, Mister is also the story of a quest for a father and the discovery of another way to live in the shadow of war. Bracing, tender, exuberantly imaginative, this is a novel that only Guy Gunaratne could have written.

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Reviews

This devastating new novel from Guy Gunaratne confirms them as a writer at the top of their game. They balance an experimental structure with an indelible voice, exploring global, social politics and resolve with ease. Their use of language, precision, thoughtfulness and humanity, make this is the book you will all be reading in 2023
Nikesh Shukla
Gunaratne offers us the study of a young man navigating many identities while searching for security and selfhood. Mister, Mister is a modern testimony of the "British / other" subject as well as an invitation for us, readers, lovers of stories to be defined on our own terms. This is a vital novel of newness and nowness that testifies to the power of fiction that seeks truth --
Raymond Antrobus
Such a sharp and clever book that absolutely refuses easy interpretation. It's about language and faith and extremism and ideas of home and identity and freedom. But also about the opposite of all that - an undoing of identity. One of those really refreshing books that truly doesn't feel like anything I've read before, and one I'm still thinking about
Anna James
It's the effervescence and emotional depth of their writing that make Mister, Mister a knockout
Big Issue
This book tears through you. A searing, shocking odyssey through faith, fury, and the boiling despair at the heart of our age
Musa Okwonga
I wish I could declare a national reading day in Britain where adults read the same book together, beginning with Mister, Mister. Gunaratne fits a whole nation inside one complex character and in doing so shows us our bones and our souls. Brimming with compassion and Dickensian in its breadth, this incredibly important book eviscerates othering and insists that Britain claim a new identity
Leone Ross
Gunaratne is a writer with a rare ability to inhabit savants, outsiders, rebels and others who exist at the so-called margins of mainstream society, and who they write slapbang into the centre. Moving between women's houses and detention centres, global and UK politics, tenderness and devastation, Mister, Mister is where it's at
Isabel Waidner
Guy Gunaratne's writing comes with big energy and empathy. Illuminated with evocative language and vivid storytelling, Mister Mister salutes belonging in the unbelonging: an essential read for these times
Salena Godden
A quicksilver astonishment of a book, deft and devastating and completely original. Just read it
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
A rollercoaster coming of age picaresque... glories in the infinite bounty of storytelling
Observer
Incisive... an engrossing romp through recent UK history, underpinned by the question: what does it mean to be British?
Esquire
Thrillingly unstable, as verbally roiling as a pirate radio broadcast, animated by a charismatic antihero prone to "rampant wilding bents". At the same time, what makes it so important is how, like Preti Taneja's Aftermath or the poetry of Bhanu Kapil, it's also drawn to silence and hermeticism: to brown opacity
Guardian
Brilliantly evocative of the effects of recent horrors many people are all-too keen to forget, Gunaratne's latest affirms that they are a writer with a unique voice and a magnificent ear for dialogue
Booklist
Vivid. Gunaratne is a skilful storyteller who imaginatively confronts the complexity of identity and unbelonging in Britain
New Statesman
A provocative powder-keg of a novel. The first-person narrator is so compelling
The Times