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Beauty - in both name and appearance - is a twenty-year-old Bangladeshi, back in England having disgraced her family by fleeing an abusive arranged marriage. Forced onto the jobseeker's treadmill and under extreme domestic pressure, she cracks and runs away. Her encounters with officialdom, fellow claimants, and strangers in the city streets, complicated by the restrictions and comfort of her language and culture, place her at the mercy of such unlikely helpers as Mark, a friendly, Staffordshire bull terrier-breeding exoffender, and Peter, a middle-class underachiever on the rebound from a bitter relationship. With determination and good humour, Beauty moves ever closer to making her choice between family duty and personal freedom. All the while, however, her brothers are searching for her across town. Can she make the choice herself, before she's forced to? A sharply rendered, compassionate and challenging portrait of a fragmented, multicultural urban England.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 24mm | 281.23g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • Tindal Street Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0955647673
  • 9780955647673
  • 261,330

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Review quote

"Shocking, explosive, and tender--I could not put it down." --Maggie Gee, author, "The White Family"

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About Raphael Selbourne

Born in Oxford within a distinguished academic family, Raphael studied politics at Sussex University, before moving to Italy where he was a translator, sold TV advertising and scooters. He has also taught in China and since 2004 in the West Midlands, where he now lives. He interrupted an MA in Islamic Studies at Birmingham University to write Beauty.

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