The Seers

£12.00

Sulaiman Addonia

The Seers follows the first weeks of a homeless Eritrean refugee in London. Set around a foster home in Kilburn and in the squares of Bloomsbury, where its protagonist Hannah sleeps, the novel grapples with how agency is given to the sexual lives of refugees, presenting free-spirited, gender-fluid, trans and androgynous African immigrants, and insisting that the erotic and intimate side of life is as much a part of someone’s story as ‘land and nations’ are.

Hannah arrives in London with her mother’s diary, containing a disturbing sexual story taking place in Keren, Eritrea, where the Allies defeated the Italians in the Second World War. In a gripping, continuous paragraph, The Seers moves between the present day and the past to explore intergenerational histories and colonial trauma alongside the psychological and erotic lives of its characters as their identities are shaped, but refused to be suppressed, by the bureaucratic processes of the UK asylum system. 

PUBLISHING ON 27 JUNE 2024 AND AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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Description

The Seers follows the first weeks of a homeless Eritrean refugee in London. Set around a foster home in Kilburn and in the squares of Bloomsbury, where its protagonist Hannah sleeps, the novel grapples with how agency is given to the sexual lives of refugees, presenting free-spirited, gender-fluid, trans and androgynous African immigrants, and insisting that the erotic and intimate side of life is as much a part of someone’s story as ‘land and nations’ are.

Hannah arrives in London with her mother’s diary, containing a disturbing sexual story taking place in Keren, Eritrea, where the Allies defeated the Italians in the Second World War. In a gripping, continuous paragraph, The Seers moves between the present day and the past to explore intergenerational histories and colonial trauma alongside the psychological and erotic lives of its characters as their identities are shaped, but refused to be suppressed, by the bureaucratic processes of the UK asylum system. 

Praise for Silence is My Mother Tongue:

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

‘Addonia, who spent his own early life in a Sudanese refugee camp, has a unique & intelligent voice which makes sensual evocative poetry of the deepest, fiercest emotions.’ – The Big Issue

‘Mesmerising and provocative… Addonia writes with poetry and depth. His sentences are vessels for what has been lost.’Triangle House


Sulaiman Addonia is an Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist. He spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan, and his early teens in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied refugee without a word of English and went on to earn an MA in Development Studies from SOAS and a BSc in Economics from UCL. 

His first novel, The Consequences of Love (Chatto & Windus, 2008), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was translated into more than 20 languages. His second novel, Silence is My Mother Tongue (Indigo Press, 2019; Graywolf, 2020), was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards 2021, the Firecracker (CLMP) Awards, the inaugural African Literary Award from The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, and longlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Fiction. Addonia’s essays appear in LitHub, Granta, Freeman’s, The New York Times, De Standaard and Passa Porta. He is a contributor to Tales of Two Planets (Penguin, 2020) and Addis Ababa Noir (Akashic Books, 2020). 

Addonia currently lives in Brussels where he founded the Creative Writing Academy for Refugees & Asylum Seekers and the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival In Exile (AALFIE), selected in 2022 as one of the top 40 literary festivals in the world. In 2021 he was awarded Belgium’s Golden Afro Artistic Award for Literature and in 2022 he was elected as a Fellow of Royal Society of Literature (RSL).

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