Excerpt from Elsewhere Home by Leila Aboulela, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Elsewhere Home

by Leila Aboulela

Elsewhere Home by Leila Aboulela X
Elsewhere Home by Leila Aboulela
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    Feb 2019, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Lyndal Martin
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About this Book

Print Excerpt


What he is saying doesn't sound new. 'Everyone knows that. What do you think people are doing every day? Making the most of things before it's too late.'

'So they know already,' he says. 'It is that clear.'

In a way it is clear and in a way, it isn't. Through the window the buses look purposeful. Everyone's footsteps pound, beating out a march I can faintly hear. Come join this dance. Such beautiful shops … and they're selling soft ice cream on the pavement. Eat, walk, shop, carry plastic bags, run and hop on to a bus. In the churn of central London, everyone is united by one wish. More to spend.

Is there nothing that everyone has, every single person?

I am surprised when Hisham answers, how sure he is. 'Time, everyone has time. But if the professor in my story is wrong and the earth stops going round and round, even time will stop.'

There is a message on my phone: my mother asking, 'What do think of Hisham?'

I could text back, 'Not sure' or 'so far, so good'. I ignore her instead. We walk out of the café. He falls in with my step. It matters that he does. It is significant, more appreciated than acknowledged. We walk past Hamleys and Liberty. We ignore the turn into Carnaby Street.

Eat, walk, shop, carry plastic bags, run and hop on to a bus. The truth is in the movement itself. Disappointment is embedded in every step. Because every beat takes us closer to the end. The world spins and there is hope. It is as if we are scooped up by a Ferris wheel that lifts us up, way up, in a circle, round, down and up.

Excerpted from Elsewhere Home copyright © 2018 by Leila Aboulela. "The Circle Line" originally appeared in Gulf Coast Magazine in 2017. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Black Cat, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.

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