Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From

Category: Book
By (author): Al-Solaylee, Kamal
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage
  NON-FICTION / Canadian
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: September 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.05in
Our Price:
$ 32.99
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Drawing on extensive reporting from around the world and astute political analysis, Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From illuminates a personal quest. Kamal Al- Sol, author of the bestselling and award-winning Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes and Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (for Everyone), yearns to return to his homeland of Yemen, now wracked by war, starvation and daily violence, to reconnect with his family. Yemen, as well as Egypt, another childhood home, call to him, even though he ran away from them in his youth and found peace and prosperity on the calm shores of Toronto. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Return, Al-Solaylee interviews dozens of people who have chosen to or long to return to their homelands, from the Basques to the Irish to the Taiwanese. The author does make a return of sorts himself, to the Middle East, visiting Israel and the West Bank as well as Egypt to meet up with his sisters. His Arabic stilted and his mannerisms foreign, Al-Solaylee finds that the English language and Western customs are now his only cultural currency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return is a chronicle of love and loss, of global reach and personal desires. It sets the narrative of going home against geopolitical forces that are likely to shape the rest of this century and beyond. It's a book for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to return to their roots.

Review Quote*

"Return is the book I didn't realize I needed until it arrived on my desk during lockdown. The dispossessed make up a nation all their own. Al-Solaylee explores what it means to be one of its citizens, and how strongly the call of elsewhere can unsettle us. This is an urgent, thought-provoking read with much to say about our future."

Review Quote*

"A contemplative work on the passage of time, the aspirations of the exiled, loss, and the complexity of return. A beautifully written, emotionally charged, and politically fierce work."

Review Quote*

"Where do you want to be buried?' is a question that may perplex many of us. Humane and perceptive, Kamal Al-Solaylee uses his own ambivalence about returning 'home' as a backcloth to explore issues of identity, belonging, citizenship and nostalgia. He deftly interweaves personal interviews with academic research as he considers what connects diasporas to their homelands. In the twenty-first century ebb and flow of populations, the Important questions he raises will resonate for many of us. This is an original and provocative book."

Review Quote*

"Return is an inquiry of the first importance because it asks, among other questions: Does your adopted home deserve you? Far too often the question is framed the other way around. Al-Solaylee's work here is thoughtful, humane, and timely."

Review Quote*

"The great trick of Return is the way Al-Solaylee turns the migrant's camera around from its customary position facing forward and examines the place that was left, the origin, the place that haunts her always. Such love, in these stories, and fear and trauma and ambivalence. The welcome is only the easiest first step of meeting new people and peoples. Understanding and comprehension require a different sort of effort and Al-Solaylee brings the reader to this effort with grace and patience. This is a gorgeous book."