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James Nelson Roebuck

James Nelson Roebuck was born and grew up in the town of Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, where he still has his home. He has spent his working life almost entirely abroad in counties of such diverse complexion as China, Saudi Arabia and Brunei. The writers he most admires in the short story form are V.S. Pritchett, Somerset Maugham and William Trevor. 

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Alistair Morgan is a hard man. Teenage thug, soldier and nightclub bouncer, he did too much, too young, most of it bad. It haunts his sleep. But now he’s gone and got himself an education. Re-invented himself as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. It’s 1992 in Saudi Arabia. The money’s good but the place can send you off your head. To make matters worse, he’s ended up working with a bunch of oldsters who don’t seem to need much help in going off theirs. Somebody has to keep the wheels on the bus, but why does it always have to be Ali Morgan? And then, there are these women who keep falling in love with him, who he can’t love back? It’s enough to make a poor boy cry. Except he’s never cried in his life. Maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps if he could soften up a bit, learn how to love, the nightmares might go away?



The voices in this collection speak from the most unlikely of locations: the British-Jamaican queen of chic who hosts, reluctantly, from her premises in Suzhou, China, the Biblio-Bar International Literary Festival. In Bandar Seri Begawan, there is the young Englishman who falls in love with a rich Bruneian murderess, and can never leave. Then, there is the past, that other country we so seldom manage to escape, as witnessed by the libertine condemned to serve as a primary-school teacher, the Head Master he once teased mercilessly in Dubai before his fall.

Red Flags, is a lucky dip into the extremities of life. Whatever you fish out, like life itself, might not be quite what you bargained for. 

Red Flags