My Life as an Alien by Seraj Assi
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – Sep 2023 – 214 pages
‘It’s an extraordinary sensation to be finally on the wing when everything else is falling apart. It’s like I’ve been abducted by extraterrestrials and beamed away from this doomed world.’
So begins My Life As An Alien, Seraj Assi’s brilliant debut novel. Described by one reader as ‘Kafka as Everyman’, it is the interior travelogue of a nameless refugee as he escapes, with very mixed feelings, from his war-torn Middle Eastern homeland and heads to a new life in the ‘Land of the Free’.
The book explores how it feels to be seen as an alien and suspected of being a terrorist by nearly every Westerner you encounter. How being considered fully human is only an aspiration for many people in the world. How unlikely it is that the meek will inherit the Earth.
But our hero is no prophet or saint, and as we learn more of the life he has left behind, it becomes clear that he is, perhaps, only too human after all. This is an original and compelling book that offers a very different perspective on the world we thought we knew.