‘A Long Way Round’ by Delia Radu

A policeman, a translator and a Roma woman who’s been involved in an “incident” at Wimbledon tube sit in an interview room – but it’s not what it first appears. The tension between what’s said, heard and replied in this triple-layered conversation, everything that’s lost in translation, is intriguing and makes for a thought-provoking story about identity and survival which reads almost like a piece of poetry or a three-hander play. This one stands out for its underexplored but ever-relevant subject, formal innovation and its striking and unusual presentation on the page. Its brevity is a great strength, lending it a certain scriptlike succinctness, and the voices of all the characters, but especially those of Mrs Nadira and the impatient translator, ring clear. It’s an interesting angle on a hot topic, and a compelling, down-to-earth yet lyrical narrative voice for Nadira, especially at the end. 

First published in Piccioletta Barca, and available to read here

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