The Silver Throat of the Moon includes material from writers originating in countries as diverse as Algeria and Zimbabwe, Somalia and Iran, Kurdistan and Afghanistan. Some authors, like Choman Hardi, Sousa Jamba, Reza Baraheni and the late Miroslav Jancic are now well known internationally for their writing in English, others, like Maxemed Ibrahim ‘Hadraawi’, are revered internationally but fairly new to readers of English.
The causes of exile are manifold, and finding refuge no easy matter. Predrag Finci comments on how many countries he has passed through, whereas his mother has rarely left her village yet the country she has lived in has changed almost as often. Sousa Jamba, on the other hand, pretends to be from a different country to his own as so few Westerners have heard of his former home, and are made nervous by hearing of an unknown land.
As well as writers in exile describing their personal experience, this collection includes essays about being writers and readers in exile. These articles range from the difficulties in holding on to traditional rural imagery in a place so far from home through to the, perhaps temporary, identity of a whole generation of young writers of Algerian origin whose lives have been entirely spent in France.
The Silver Throat of the Moon is the third anthology of writing by writers in exile edited by Jennifer Langer published by Five Leaves. The Bend in the Road (which included some of the stories in this volume) was the first book by refugees writing in Britain. Crossing the Border: voices of refugee and exiled women is still available.
Jennifer Langer, herself the daughter of refugees, lives in London where she has formed Exiled Writers Ink!