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Description - The Internationals by Sarah May

Exestate agents from English suburbia, Italian feminists and Australian engineers become entangled with arms smugglers, advertising executives and an Albanian mayor whose overwhelming ambition is to own a four-wheel drive. As the days pass and the Internationals each jettison more and more of the certainties they came with, they gradually begin to understand that their motives are really no purer than those they believe corrupt. The Independent on Sunday said of Sarah May's second novel, Spanish City, it 'should be read by whoever said a good novel could not be written by a writer under 30'. Ambitious, funny, clever and highly topical, The Internationals proves that, after 30, it only gets better.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780701172824
ISBN-10: 0701172827
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x 17mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 28-Aug-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Internationals by Sarah May

Book Reviews - The Internationals by Sarah May

UK Kirkus Review » Following her success with The Nudist Colony and Spanish City, Sarah May turns to a new, and highly topical, theme for her latest novel. The setting is Macedonia, the year 1999, when NATO forces were carrying out air strikes against the former Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis, and the cast are the 'Internationals': an army of journalists, interpreters, doctors, aid workers and other sundry 'ambulance-chasers', all trying to help with, or cash in on, a refugee problem that is spiralling out of control. Add to that the permanent residents - the petty officials and the diplomats with their bored and frustrated wives - and you have a sparkling array of characters all thrust together in a hotbed of violence and corruption, gossip and intrigue. As the Internationals descend on the overcrowded, filthy and disease-ridden refugee camp, May uses biting satire and engaging wit to lay bare the incompetence and corruption that follow in the wake of the international crises which have characterized recent years. Lack of resources and political ineptitude ensure that those who need help do not get it and that those who wish to exploit the situation for their own ends have free rein to do so. Whilst the backdrop of decaying infrastructure, concrete urban sprawl and seedy bars and cafes is convincingly drawn, it is the characters themselves who stand out. In many ways they are caricatures - alcoholic journalists, sweaty foreigners, sanctimonious aid workers and inadequate diplomats - but May's original turn of phrase and minute powers of observation, both of physical and emotional traits and national identities, ensure that they are anything but stock characters. Readers who have enjoyed May's first two novels will not be disappointed with her latest offering. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Sarah May

Having left her job after they discovered that she had written The Nudist Colony under her desk, Sarah May is now a full-time writer. She lives in Blackheath, London with her husband, Benjamin May, and their son. Benjamin is a theatre director who has been working in Kosovo and Macedonia, helping young people to rebuild their war-torn lives by making theatre. Sarah recently accompanied him to Macedonia for several months. She is 29 years old.

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