Emma Parsons, author of The Teacher’s Tale and Temi O, a former immigration detainee, talk to Salusbury World’s Tom Goodman about their involvement with Refugee Tales.
This extraordinary walking and writing project, modelled on the Canterbury Tales, started in 2015 and has resulted (to date) in 4 volumes published by Comma Press. Writers such as Jackie Kay, Kamila Shamsie and Bernardine Evaristo have works in the collections of tales, alongside first person accounts of people who have experienced indefinite immigration detention in the UK.
Emma Parsons started her career in journalism and editing in the 1970s as a newscaster in Iran for National Iranian TV and Radio. Her awareness of policy iniquities regarding asylum seekers and refugees was first sparked when she was in Djibouti in 1979 and wrote a feature for The Spectator on the conditions suffered by refugees from neighbouring Ethiopia. Her short story ‘The Turf Cutters’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and she was the scriptwriter for Don’t Shut Me!, a drama/dance performance at Jackson’s Lane Theatre. For the last twenty years, Emma has worked as a teacher in London schools and is currently writing a series of short stories for children.