From the moment Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, exile has been a part of the human experience. The circumstances in which individuals or entire peoples are compelled to leave their homeland are as various as they are numerous, and in this book John Simpson has brought together examples of exile from all over the world, and from all periods of history. The emphasis is on personal experience, with writers from Ovid to Solzhenitsyn describing their exile, their emotions, their struggle and their despair. For those who have chosen a life in exile, the response is more mixed: ambivalence about the country they have left and the country they have chosen suffuses the writing of intellectuals seeking freedom of speech, as of ex-pats living in India or Australia. Those persecuted for their faith or their politics rub shoulders with those fleeing from war, or from debt, or even from the weather. Castaways and spies, premiers and princes describe their departure, their reception and sometimes their return, in an anthology that is by turns inspiring, moving, and deeply thought-provoking. With sources ranging from police records, newspaper articles, interviews, letters and memoirs, as well as verse and fiction, and settings as remote as Iran and Russia, China and Palestine, The Oxford Book of Exile provides a fascinating insight into an experience that touches so many, and captures the imagination of us all.