From Another World
Translated by Ruth Clarke
In a discount store in Brussels, 15-year-old Khaled stands oozing water from his trainers, mud caked on his legs. He is spotted by Karolina. She offers him a packet of biscuits, but what he wants is a red suitcase. She buys it for him and they part ways: Karolina to mourn her missing son, whose laptop history is filled with visits to extremist websites; Khaled to trek down to Sicily, travelling against the flow of other Syrian refugees, on a journey of mysterious but urgent intent…
The seas around Italy and Sicily are filled with drowning migrants; the country is filled with xenophobia and fear. In the cities and towns, in the schools and shops, in the streets and fields, strange children are starting to appear – enigmatic, unnerving presences who disappear like ghosts, causing uproar. When the media starts circulating an image of a bizarre dark-skinned boy pulling a red suitcase, who appears in various locations throughout the country, paranoia hits a fever pitch. The phantasmal children just keep coming.
At once a ghost story, a morality tale, a quest narrative and a deeply affecting reflection on loss, grief and the struggle to brave love in blackened times, From Another World is a masterwork of writing from one of Sicily’s most important writers.