Melatu Uche Okorie
Melatu Uche Okorie is a writer and scholar. Born in Nigeria, she moved to Ireland in 2006. It was during her eight and a half years living in the direct provision system that she began to write. She has an M. Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, and has had works published in numerous anthologies. In 2009, she won the Metro Éireann Writing Award for her story ‘Gathering Thoughts’.
Melatu has a strong interest in the rights of asylum seekers and migrant education in Ireland and is currently studying for a PhD in Education at Trinity College, Dublin. This Hostel Life is her first book.
This Hostel Life
This Hostel Life tells the stories of migrant women in a hidden Ireland. From a day in the life of women queuing for basic supplies in an Irish direct provision hostel to a young black woman’s depiction of everyday racism in Ireland, her nuanced writing shines a light on the injustice of the direct provision system and on the insidious racism experienced by migrant women living in Ireland. A third story, set in a Nigeria of the past, tells of a woman’s life destroyed by an ancient superstition and her fierce determination to carry on, a quality Okorie believes is universally shared by women. The collection includes a fascinating essay by Liam Thornton (UCD School of Law) explaining the Irish legal position in relation to asylum seekers and direct provision. Melatu Uche Okorie was nominated for Newcomer of the Year at the 2018 An Post Book Awards for This Hostel Life .
‘Melatu Uche Okorie has important things to say – and she does it quite brilliantly. Her language is arresting and inventive, and very entertaining.’ Roddy Doyle
‘These fresh, devastating stories are compelling. Melatu Uche Okorie writes with uncomfortable clarity about things we think we already know. She takes us to places we might not want to go within ourselves and to worlds we haven’t seen before in Irish writing.’ Lia Mills
We are offering a free teaching resource to accompany This Hostel Life. It was developed by teachers at The High School, Rathgar in Dublin to be used with transition year English students. You can download your free copy here.