Over the course of a night in police custody, a young woman tries to understand the rage that led her to assault a refugee on the Paris metro. She too is a foreigner, now earning a living as an interpreter for asylum seekers in the outskirts of the city. Translating the stories of men and women who come from her country of birth, into the language of her country of citizenship, Sinha’s narrator finds herself caught up in a tangle of lies and truths, propaganda and lived experience, laying bare prejudices on all sides.
Down with the Poor! which borrows its title from a poem by Baudelaire peers into a harsh reality and reveals with an acerbic sense of humour the dislocated responses to poverty and desperation. Sinha’s queasy view of European asylum systems offers a deeply emotional account and morally complex critique of the bureaucracies and mindsets upholding the status quo. This is the story of a woman who, little by little, is contaminated by the violence of the world.