Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Publications

Exotic England

The Settler's Cookbook

Overview

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a leading commentator on race, multiculturalism and human rights, writing for the Independent and Guardian and appearing regularly on TV and radio. She has won many journalism awards, including the Orwell Prize in 2002. She is also the author of No Place Like Home (1995) and the IPPR report True Colours, on public attitudes to multiculturalism.


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The Settler's Cookbook

I fly into Heathrow in March 1972 feeling blessed by the angels. I am about to start postgraduate studies at Oxford and marry my own True Love (TL), who has been there a year. He is a zoologist, embarked on a DPhil recording the reproductive habits of voles in Wytham Woods. I don't know what...

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I fly into Heathrow in March 1972 feeling blessed by the angels. I am about to start postgraduate studies at Oxford and marry my own True Love (TL), who has been there a year. He is a zoologist, embarked on a DPhil recording the reproductive habits of voles in Wytham Woods. I don't know what voles are. They look like rats in his photos. But heck, it is Oxford. Until we were disabused, we believed England was an orderly, genteel haven, the antithesis of African mayhem. On the flight over, the plane is packed with Asians who consider themselves unbelievably lucky. Life for Asians in Uganda has become perilous; my fellow passengers have fled before they were pushed. Wise philosopher-housewives calm distressed ladies. Tupperware boxes are passed round containing samosas, dhal bhajias, home-made mithai, fried mogo, bright chutneys that inevitably drip. I smile stupidly, shake my head, then rudely turn away to the window. I am not quite one of them, or so I pretend even though my mum makes the same snacks at home. I fear I will smell of garlic and ginger when my TL kisses me. My mouth must be peppermint-sweet when it meets his. What they don't know is I have two boxes of snacks for the ride. One contains hot cashews, picked and roasted at a farm in Mombasa, the other cocothende, a fabulous biscuit covered in a layer of sugary crust you first suck off slowly. Our very own Danish pastry.





 
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