The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri, coming 2019

We’re very proud to announce that in 2019 we will publish The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri. The book shares its title with an astonishing Guardian longread Dina wrote in April this year, and the book promises to be every bit as provocative, humane and thought-provoking.

Dina was born in Iran and moved to America at the age of 10. She is a winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and the O. Henry Prize. Her stories and essays have been published by, among others, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, the Atlantic and Vice. She is also the author of the novels A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea and Refuge and lives in London. The Ungrateful Refugee will be her first book of non-fiction.

Our Editorial Director, Simon Thorogood, pre-empted World rights in The Ungrateful Refugee from Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates in London and Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management in New York. He says: “The Ungrateful Refugee is a book that articulates the reality of the refugee experience in beautiful, powerful prose. It is also one that challenges our preconceptions and makes us think afresh about one of the biggest issues of our age. Dina’s book recalibrated my thinking and opened my eyes. This will be an agenda-setting book when we publish in Spring 2019.”

And Dina herself says: “I'm writing The Ungrateful Refugee because the world is regressing: as I watch the news, I think of how necessary it is to show refugees as they are, the full arc of their story, in ways that they've hidden from the native-born out of a misplaced sense of gratitude. I don't want to show how refugees contribute to their host countries; I want to show instead how they become enmeshed in a community, how they live, what they suffer, how they love and are loved by the native-born. I want to show how a single moment of displacement can shape everything that comes after, and how, in the West, the label ‘refugee’ can become a permanent siphon of identity and power. Most of all, I want to give the world a new, complete narrative of resettlement that doesn't assume (despite brushes with joy and community) that the story ends happily the moment asylum is won. I'm grateful that Canongate is passionate about this message, and I'm delighted to work with such a phenomenal team.”