Raised by 'Many Mothers' and an eccentric uncle in a crumbling East Ham home, even Yahya Bas's birth is shrouded in myths which his absent father and distant birth mother are not on hand to dispel. His is an unconventional start in life, where his view of the world is shaped perhaps more by the TV (his many mothers' endless soaps and his uncle's endless new bulletins) as by a primary school where it is all he can do to escape daily beatings.
When, as a teenager, he is sent to Islamic school, Yahya discovers an unexpected gift as a poet, and under his online alter ego as Al-Bayn, he becomes the most widely read poet in the country. But the consequences of his fame are ugly, and his need to learn what became of his father has become so pressing that he flees the UK to travel to Syria under an assumed name.
What he counters there is very far from what he expected to find, and his confession, when he finds himself interned back in the UK, is one that will shake his interrogator to the core: it's the story of how Britain made Yahya in its own image, and above all, it's the story of a young man who insists on telling his story in his own defiant, incendiary words.