The Water Thief

Pages: 352
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

The Water Thief

Claire Hajaj

From the award-winning author of Ishmael's Oranges comes a searing novel set in Africa, with a Graham Greene-esque moral conflict at its heart
9781786073945 (26 Jul 2018)
RRP £12.99 / US$24.99

The Book

Who decides what is right? 

How do we judge our actions?

And how do we live with ourselves when things go wrong? 

Following his father's death, troubled idealist Nick abandons his safe London life for a remote desert village in Africa, lending his engineering skills to build a children's hospital. Adrift from the world he knows, dangerous currents soon pull him in: a simmering family conflict, hidden corruption and violence, a killing drought, attraction to his host's lonely wife. But when he realizes a water well could offer a way out for the village and redeem his guilty conscience, he takes matters into his own hands. It's a decision that changes everything - for him, and for everyone he loves.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 352
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Claire Hajaj has spent the past fifteen years working in international aid and conflict resolution for the United Nations, across war zones from Burma to Baghdad. She shares Palestinian and Jewish heritage, growing up between the deserts of the Middle East and the gardens of rural England. Claire's writing has also appeared in Newsweek, The Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Telegraph, London Literary Review, as well as political institutions dedicated to peace. She has an MA in Classical and English Literature from Oxford University, and is a fellow of the UN Centre for Policy Research. She currently lives in Tajikistan.


'Claire Hajaj [tells her story] with intensity and a deep sensitivity towards people, and all their strengths and shortcomings.'

- Katharina Wantoch, emotion

'A profound Africa adventure'


'Improves the world: The Water Thief by Claire Hajaj...'

- Oberösterreichische Nachrichten

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