New and reviewed

New books touching on travel and place (some of which I included in a roundup in January) featured strongly at the weekend in the pages of The Guardian and The Observer. The Guardian had an extract in its Saturday magazine from Scattered by Aamna Mohdin (Bloomsbury, £18.99), one of its reporters, who is now a British citizen but lived almost half her life as a stateless Somali refugee. In the piece, she returns to the camp in Kenya where she spent her early childhood.

In the same section, Fiona Sturges reviewed the memoir in which the environmental activist Nemonte Nenquimo, writing with her American partner, Mitch Anderson, tells the story of her people and their land in the Ecuadorian rainforest. We Will Not be Saved (Wildfire, £20), Sturges says, is “Full of wisdom, sadness, flourishes of joy and more than a few psychedelic visions”. It is “testament not only to Nenquimo’s resilience but also her deep spiritual connection to her land and ancestors”.

In The Observer, Luke Harding reviewed both an account by Britain’s last ambassador to Afghanistan of the chaotic military withdrawal from the country and — briefly — The Afghans (Virago, £25), the latest work from Åsne Seierstad, which I’ve mentioned here a couple of times. Also in The Observer, Kate Kellaway chose Cairn by Kathleen Jamie (Sort Of Books, £9.99) as poetry book of the month. “This marvel of a book,” she says, “is a profound meditation on the precariousness of the planet, braided to a personal sense of impermanence”. (That review — which I read in print on Sunday — doesn’t appear to be online yet.)

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