Based on the true, still-unfolding story of the expelled Chagossians' fight for their homeland, Silence of the Chagos is a powerful exploration of cultural identity, the concept of home, and above all the neverending desire for justice.
Every afternoon a woman in a red headscarf walks to the end of the quay and looks out over the water, fixing her gaze "back there"--to Diego Garcia, one of the small islands forming the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean. With no explanation, no forewarning, and only an hour to pack their belongings, the entire population of Diego Garcia was forced on a boat headed to Mauritius. Government officials told Charlesia that the island was "closed;" there was no going back for any of them.
Charlesia longs for life on Diego Garcia, where she spent her days harvesting coconuts and her nights dancing to sega music. As she struggles to come to terms with the injustice of her new reality, Charlesia crosses paths with D sir , a young man born on the one-way journey to Mauritius. D sir has never set foot on Diego Garcia, but as Charlesia unfolds the dramatic story of their people, he learns of the home he never knew and of the life he might have had.
With the Chagos' sovereignty currently being adjudicated by the United Nations Silence of the Chagos is an important and humanizing exploration of the rights of individuals and a reckoning with displacement on a global scale
Author: Shenaz Patel
Publisher: Restless Books
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 6.90h x 5.10w x 0.90d
Kirkus Reviews 09/15/2019 pg. 28
Booklist 10/01/2019 pg. 26
Publishers Weekly 10/14/2019
About the Author
Shenaz Patel is a journalist and writer from the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. She is the author of several novels, plays, short stories, and children's books. She was an IWP (International Writers Program) Honorary Fellow in the U.S. in 2016, and was a fellow at the W. E. B Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University in 2018.