I had never heard the name of the author, Egbert Ausema, before. He published this novel through a publishing house that specialized in authors who want to publish on their own account.
This novel shows us the life of a refugee from Somalia, who recently arrived in The Netherlands. His father was from English descent and his mother was Somalian. Both have passed away. The young man Siyad (23 years young) looks at the option of asking for asylum in The Netherlands, but he also has the option of travelling to the United Kingdom, where his father came from. He is in contact with others who have travelled to The Netherlands, people like Yusuf, who arrived in 1991 and now supports people who have come to his second fatherland. We also meet Michael from Nigeria who has obtained a residence permit. A young Somalian women named Amina stays in the house of Yusuf and she falls in love with Siyad. During Siyad’s early days in The Netherlands the Dutch police arrests a few Swedes from Somalian descent and the police and the security services find a link to Siyad, via Yusuf.
One day Siyad meets the former opera singer Iswalda at a Black Market, where sellers and buyers from all over the world meet. Ismalda sells some of her CD’s. Siyad buys some of these CD’s. This is the start of a tentative relationship between Iswalda (circa 40 year) and Siyad. Will a new relationship blossom? Or will Siyad choose Amina? Will Siyad stay in The Netherlands or will it be easier to settle in the United Kingdom?
Throughout his novel the author tries to explain the Dutch system in which asylum seekers find themselves. This information is put into dialogues, but it sounds a bit artificial. having good natural dialogues seems to be a problem to the author.
Egbertus Ausema – Een vluchteling voor Iswalda – 2012