The Glass Collector
The compelling new novel from the critically acclaimed author of Guantanamo Boy.
Based on Anna Perera's experiences in the slums of Egypt, The Glass Collector exposes the beauty and dignity that can be found amongst the children of the poorest communities in Cairo.
In Cairo, fifteen-year-old Aaron makes a living out of gathering garbage - as a member of the despised Zabbaleen, this is his fate.
But Aaron has dreams. Every day he dreams of Rachel, who looks after the ponies who pull the carts piled high with garbage to and from the slum they call home. He dreams that they will make a life together, far from the smells, cruelty and squalor of their daily existence.
Aaron's skill at sorting glass is the only thing that keeps him alive. His mother is dead, and his stepfather and stepbrother Lijah subject him to an endless regime of bullying and abuse. He is stuck with them - where else would he go? Shareen, the local beauty, is at once a source of excitement and torment to him. And always there is Rachel - serene and seemingly untouchable.
From the Author
'The idea for The Glass Collector began after I read an article about the Zabbaleen. I went to Cairo and borrowed a black galabeya to gain access to this fairly closed community. Accompanied by a translator, I was overwhelmed, not just by the poverty, the smell and tumbling filth, but by the dignity of the people, who are rich in so many ways that we aren't.
'Aaron sprang to life when I noticed a Zabbaleen boy of about fifteen ambling with a pony and cart down the middle of four lanes of manic traffic. What struck me about him was a look on his face that I'll never forget - one of complete bliss. It was this luminous peace that inspired the creation of Aaron and his love of glass.'
Anna Perera is the critically acclaimed author of Guantanamo Boy which was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award and Branford Boase Award and longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. She was born in London to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan father. She worked as an English teacher in two secondary schools in London, and later became responsible for a unit for excluded boys. The Glass Collector is her second novel.
The Glass Collector
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Anna Perera