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John Fraser’s latest work of fiction follows the refugee Khalil in two related stories, ‘The Refugees’ and ‘Travels with Strangers’.
We are all refugees seeking an entry to soCaucasmewhere when we’ve left somewhere else. Our knowledge is a raft that’s carried us on lumpy seas. We can forget all that when we arrive. It doesn’t serve. We don’t, of course, stop being refugees, not ever, but we have a lot of living to do while we’re forgetting where we were before.
It’s a commonplace, to say we’re strangers to ourselves – not only when we are alone, but especially when we are in company. Khalil comes from a ruined land, chooses the obvious role in his new places – acting. On film, where someone else will edit him. He longs to find the treasure we all want – and isn’t his, or ours. He flits through ‘Travels with Strangers’ too – but people of all spots and stripes are rolling down, shaken from their safe spots – and finish in the Caucasus! A place that once was Eden – and they try to plant and harvest there again. It doesn’t necessarily work. It’s strange, because they’re of all human types. Maybe the world wasn’t made for people, or maybe it’s too far gone for them to find a space to think and talk.
And how they talk! Seek love and sex and something – nothing - in between. There must be, of course, conclusion. Khalil’s a fine dancer - exhibition standard. That’s a gift!