Mameluke Bath by Andrew Asibong
"The writing is beautiful and the characterisation tender, funny and satisfyingly voyeuristic."—Hannah Eaton, author of Naming Monsters
Mameluke Bath is the bizarre story of Christie Smithkin, a 39-year-old misfit, misanthrope and virgin, who lives in the nightmarish English city of St Pauly.
Friendless, paranoid, and lacking the funds she needs for the completion of her PhD thesis, mixed-race Christie’s only hope lies in a new ‘asylum-seeker mentoring’ scheme for which she has recently volunteered as a mentor. Offering guidance to recently-arrived African refugees fleeing torture will, she prays, provide her with a sense of social purpose and perhaps even emotional connection.
Christie’s plan goes awry when she discovers that Mukelenge, her Congolese mentee, has already been assigned a mentor: Damon, a cheerful, vapid, white male nurse. Worse still, Mukelenge is settling into urban East Midlands society with unnerving confidence and poise. Piqued by the immigrant’s miraculous feats of integration, Christie becomes uncontrollably jealous when she realises that Mukelenge is also casting a spell of seduction over the handsome, doll-like Damon.
Christie’s determination to solve the mystery of Mukelenge’s identity, to rescue Damon from the real or imagined horrors of a zombie-factory deep in the woods, and to come to terms with her own terrifying childhood, will hurtle all three protagonists towards a macabre conclusion in the nearby spa town of Mameluke Bath.
About the author
Andrew Asibong was born in the English Peak District in 1977, grew up near Liverpool, and left home at the age of 17 to study Modern Languages at Oxford University. A widely published scholar in literary, film and cultural studies, he has since lived in Paris and Nottingham, but settled in 2006 in Haringey, North London, where he is an active member of the local community, participating in a film collective, a radical reading group, and a non-hierarchical solidarity network.
Mameluke Bath is his debut novel.
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