Tawseef Khan


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Footnote Press Ltd
13 June 2024
ISBN: 9781804440902
320 pages

From the publisher

At once a polyphonic exploration of the UK immigration system and the story of one woman's attempt to find a life for herself amidst the pressures of her job

'A compassionate, beautifully told portrait' GUY GUNARATNE
'This is absorbing, witty, eloquent fiction, as well as a trenchant political critique' TOM BENN
'A hymn to empathy, alive with care and love' REBECCA WATSON
'A heartbreaking, honest, and deeply important story' JYOTI PATEL

Jamila Shah is twenty-nine and exhausted.

An immigration solicitor tasked with running the precious family law firm, Jamila is prone to being woken in the middle of the night by frantic phone calls from clients on the cusp of deportation. Working under the shadow of the government's 'hostile environment', she constantly prays and hopes that their 'determinations' will result in her clients being allowed to stay.

With no time for friends, family or even herself (never mind a needy partner), Jamila's life feels hectic and out of control. Then a breakdown of sorts forces her to seek change - to pursue her own happiness while navigating the endless expectations that the world seems to have of her, and still committing herself to a career devoted to helping others.

In this polyphonic, assured and character-driven debut, we meet the staff of Shah & Co Solicitors, who themselves arrived in the UK not too long ago, and their clients, more recent arrivals who are made to jump through hoops to create a life for themselves whilst trying to achieve some semblance of normality.