The Backpacker's Father by Gunnar Kopperud

The Backpacker's Father

Gunnar Kopperud

Take an imaginary Spice Island where 50% of the population are Muslim and backed by the army whilst the other half are Christian and backed by the police. Add Chinese money and a handful of well-meaning Europeans. Then ensure that no-one understands anyone else and wait for the personal tragedies to unfold. Beautifully written and totally terrifying.

Extract

'And now you're angry because you enjoyed it. That's one thing you Europeans know all about - guilt.'
He really shouted the last word.
Anya hit out at him as she replied, 'Don't be so ridiculous. Whenever you feel unsure of yourself you criticise Europeans. You know it was madness to attck the commercial centre, you know it's brought shame on the Muslims, and you know they'll have to retaliate, that they won't be able to live with the shame'.

Parallels
  • Apocalypse Now - the film
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinsolver
  • The Fountain at the Centre of the World by Robert Newman