Waiting at the Paris airport, two immigrants from Djibouti reveal parallel stories of war, child soldiers, arms trafficking, drugs, and hunger. Bashir is recently discharged from the army and wounded, finding himself inside the French Embassy. Harbi, whose wife, Alice, has been killed by the police, is there too—arrested earlier as a political suspect. An embassy official mistakes Bashir for Harbi's son, and as Harbi does not deny it, both will be exiled to France, Alice's home country. This brilliantly shrewd and cynical universal chronicle of war and exile, translated into English for the first time, amounts to a lyrical and reflective history of Djibouti and its tortuous politics, crippled economy, and devastated moral landscape.
"Transit is an essential volume for readers and researchers of post-colonial literature and history." —ForeWord Reviews
"These five voices offer distinct views of Djibouti, at times similar, at other times seemingly irreconcilable, and are by turns lyrical, nostalgic, idealizing, satirizing, and blisteringly critical of the country's history, politics, culture, and traditions." —Tess Lewis, Hudson Review
"Steeped in borth historical lore and the socio-political realities of the small ex-French colony of Djibouti before and during its 1990s civil war, Waberi's new collection tells the alternatively inspiring and somewhat laborious tale of Bashir 'Binladen'." —Publishers Weekly
"Transit is an impressive text, and a very good introduction to Djibouti." —Complete Review