In the remote forests of Mauritius young Raj is almost oblivious of the Second World War raging beyond his tiny exotic island. With only his mother for company while his father works as a prison guard, solitary ever since his brothers died years ago, Raj thinks only of making friends. One day, the far-away world comes to Mauritius and Raj meets David, a Jew exiled from his home in Europe and imprisoned in the camp where Raj's father works. David becomes the friend that he has always longed for, a brother to replace those he has lost. Raj knows that he must help David to escape. As they flee through sub-tropical landscapes and devastating storms, the boys battle hunger and malaria - and forge a friendship only death can destroy. The Last Brother is a powerful, poetic novel that sheds new light on a little-explored aspect of 20th-century history.
Nathacha Appanah, a French-Mauritian with an Indian background, was born in Mauritius in 1973. She was brought up in Mauritius and worked there as a journalist before moving to France in 1998. The Last Brother, her first novel to be translated into English, was awarded the FNAC Fiction Prize in 2007 in its French edition. Geoffrey Strachan is the award-winning translator of Andrei Makine.