The Indigo Press

An Act of Defiance

Silence is My Mother Tongue

Sulaiman Addonia

In a time of war, what is the shape of love? 

Saba arrives in an East African refugee camp as a young girl, devastated to have been wrenched from school and forced to abandon her books as her family flees to safety. In this unfamiliar, crowded and often hostile community, she must carve out a new existence. As she struggles to maintain her sense of self, she remains fiercely protective of her mute brother, Hagos – each sibling resisting the roles gender and society assign.

Through a cast of complex, beautifully-drawn characters, Sulaiman Addonia questions what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be an individual when circumstance has forced the loss of all that makes a home or a future.

‘The exchange of masculine and feminine roles within the context of a sexually conservative culture makes for a gripping and courageous narrative. Guardian

‘[A] richly written second novel, which brims with the sensory flavours of remembered experience.’Daily Mail


An Act of Defiance

Irene Sabatini

How do you imagine the future when your story traps you in the past?

Harare, 2000. Gabrielle is a newly-qualified lawyer, fighting for justice for a young girl. Ben is an urbane and charismatic junior diplomat, attached to Harare with the American embassy. With high-level pressure on Gabrielle to drop her case, and Robert Mugabe’s youth wing terrorising his political opponents as he tightens his grip on power, they begin a tentative love affair. But when both fall victim to a shocking attack, their lives splinter across continents and their stories diverge, forcing Gabrielle on a painful journey towards self-realisation.

Irene Sabatini, Winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers, has written an unforgettable novel about love, agency, motherhood and bravery, showing how the dehumanising effects of political violence can shape and remake a life.

‘A wonderfully enjoyable and heart-warming novel with intergenerational appeal’ Guardian on Peace and Conflict 

 ‘One of the most engaging novels about inter-racial love to be published this century’ Independent on The Boy Next Door 

19 March 2020| £10.99 | B Format paperback with flaps

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An Act of Defiance - B Format Paperback
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