Anita Sethi’s award-winning I Belong Here: A Journey Along The Backbone Of Britain was first published in 2021, with this paperback edition newly available to purchase. In 2019, Sethi boarded a train to travel from Liverpool to Newcastle. What she didn’t expect to encounter was brutal racist abuse from another passenger. The police were called and the perpetrator was arrested and later found guilty, but the racial hate directed at Sethi left her suffering from anxiety and panic attacks: travelling alone was something she became scared and reluctant to do.
Painful childhood memories resurfaced as well, regarding prejudice due to her skin colour, and the feeling she did not belong here. Yet rather than hide away and remain silent, I Belong Here chronicles Manchester-born Sethi’s decision to put on her walking boots and travel through where she came from, northern England. Her journey along the Pennines renews and invigorates her sense of identity, belonging and mental strength. The resulting travelogue in I Belong Here is moving and beautifully written, but so much more: it is an inspirational testament to strength and resilience that is unquestionably informative and compelling.
I Belong Here, Anita Sethi (Bloomsbury)
Price: £10.99. Info: here
words DAVID NOBAKHT
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