Diego Garcia

A Co-authored Experimental Novel About Colonialism, Bitcoin, and How to Tell Stories That Are Not Yours to Tell.

August 2014. Two friends, writers Damaris Caleemootoo and Oliver Pablo Herzberg, arrive in Edinburgh from London, the city that killed Daniel – his brother, her frenemy, loved by them both. Every day is different but the same. Trying to get to the library, they get distracted by bickering – will it rain or not and what should they do about their tanking bitcoin? – in the end failing to write or resist the sadness which follows them as they drift around the city.

On such a day they meet Diego, a poet. They learn that Diego’s mother was from the Chagos Archipelago, that she and her community were forced to leave their ancestral islands by soldiers in 1973 to make way for a military base. They become obsessed with this notorious episode in British history and the continuing resistance of the Chagossian people, and feel urged to write in solidarity. But how to share a story that is not theirs to tell?

Sad, funny and angry, this collaborative fiction builds on the true fact of another: a collaborative fiction created by the British and US governments to dispossess a people of their homeland.

Reviews

»As affecting as it is intellectually agile, Diego Garcia achieves what few novels even aim at – it opens up fresh ways of reading both history and fiction.«
Pankaj Mishra, author of Run and Hide

»Diego Garcia is a beautiful, poignant, anarchic experiment in col- laboration and collectivity. This novel does wonderful, innovative things to form and to politics – to style, to voice, to creolization, to propaganda and power and archipelic thinking – and especially to the denials inbuilt to British novels and British politics. Somehow it finds a way of exposing Britain’s ongoing shameful occupation of the Chagos Islands while also being a document of literary resistance and originality. It offers models for future thinking.«
Adam Thirlwell, author of Lurid and Cute

»Diego Garcia is an important and highly original work, incredibly well-researched and thought-through.«
Philippe Sands, author of The Last Colony


Original Language

English, Fitzcarraldo Editions

Available Material

English original


Rights

on behalf of Fitzcarraldo Editions
Arabic, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Korean


Natasha Soobramanien

Natasha Soobramanien, British-Mauritian, and Luke Williams, Scottish, are the authors of Genie and Paul (Myriad Editions, 2012) and The Echo Chamber (Hamish Hamilton, 2011), respectively. They used to live in Edinburgh but Natasha now lives in Brussels and Luke in Cove. They met on the Creative Writing MA at UEA, where they were taught by W. G. Sebald.

Luke Williams

Luke Williams, Scottish, and Natasha Soobramanien, British-Mauritian, are the authors of Genie and Paul (Myriad Editions, 2012) and The Echo Chamber (Hamish Hamilton, 2011), respectively. They used to live in Edinburgh but Natasha now lives in Brussels and Luke in Cove. They met on the Creative Writing MA at UEA, where they were taught by W. G. Sebald.