Selim's first view of Europe is a vast, thick carpet of digested pasta. Swimming through sewage towards traffickers on the Italian shore, he enters a world where Kurdish refuges disguise themselves as tomatoes, dates of birth are a matter of option, and a residency permit is a ticket to paradise.
When Selim lands up in a small town in Germany, he believes he has finally found a safe haven- but as his 18th birthday approaches and his residency permit remains elusive, there seems to be only one way to avoid deportation.
Fifteen years later, in a town hall in Paris, a Registrar receives both an unsettling visitor in her office, and an unsettling book in the post. The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages only fuels her suspicious surrounding an impending Kurdish wedding. Unsure how to intervene, she embarks on an investigation that brings her uncomfortably close to an old acquaintance: Selim.
The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages is written with real imaginative flair, heart and humour and is an enchanting debut novel by an extraordinary new talent. Touching on important contemporary themes of identity, immigration, terrorism and marriage, the book is also the intimate story of two young people, a German girl and a Kurdish boy, who despite their best intention, discover a marriage of convenience is anything but
Sophie Hardach was born in 1979 and grew up in Germany. She studied economics and political science at Edinburgh University and the National University of Singapore. After graduating, she worked as a correspondent for Reuters news agency in London, Milan, Tokyo and Paris, where she now lives
The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages
Simon and Schuster
Author: Sophie Hardach