Wolverhampton is hosting its first literary festival with a host of home-grown talent including acts as diverse as award-winning author Sathnam Sanghera and YouTube hit Doreen Tipton. The weekend-long celebration in January, called the Wolverhampton Original Literature Festival (WOLF), will also feature musicians, workshops, art and children’s events. Sathnam Sanghera, a former Wolverhampton Grammar School student, will be in conversation at the city’s art gallery on the opening night. His first book, The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, is currently being adapted for TV to air on the BBC next autumn. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year.
Authenticity in storytelling is highly prized: as readers we like to feel we’re being given special access to the truth. But does this place an unfair burden on those writers who are also expected to speak on behalf of the cultural groups they’re seen to represent? Is there an implicit pressure for them to write in particular voices, on particular subjects and in particular genres? Examining the paradox of authenticity, our panel includes: author Catherine O’Flynn – whose What Was Lost won the Costa First Novel Prize – journalist, memoirist, and Times columnist Sathnam Sanghera, Trinidadian writer and performer Roger Robertson, and journalist and human rights development worker Afua Hirsch.
British or Asian? As successive generations of British Asians excel in the mainstream, their diverse cultural and ethnic legacies remain a part of personal history and layered identity. Resisting stereotypes, a session that discusses difference and belonging, integration, adaptation and alienation, and the changing attitudes and affiliations of the second and third generations of South Asian Britons. Mukulika Banerjee, Sathnam Sanghera and Yasmin Khan in conversation with Patrick French
The British Library and The Reading Agency present a special gala evening beginning with a fantastic line up of authors and other guests – each discussing the place of books in their lives and reading from some of their favourites. Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of last year’s Sunday Times bestsellerThe Last Act of Love chairs the evening which features World Book Night authors past and present, including Matt Haig, Dreda Say Mitchell, S J Parris, Holly Bourne and Sathnam Sanghera. Now run by national charity The Reading Agency, World Book Night’s aims to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading with others and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all of our lives. The evening continues in the Entrance Hall of the Library with a birthday party for Shakespeare and entry to the exhibition Shakespeare in Ten Acts – all included in the ticket price.
An intimate evening at London’s museum of immigration, 19 Princelet St, with readings, performances and talks from writers Sathnam Sanghera, Ben Judah, Ayisha Malik, Amanda Paul and Nikesh Shukla.19 Princelet Street in Spitalfields is a unique cultural institution in one of London’s most magical buildings. Beyond our timeworn front doors are secrets and suitcases, poems and potatoes, and threads of history that connect with today’s Londoners, and their experiences of migration and multiple identies. We are pleased to offer an exclusive private tour, for limited numbers and for the fortunate first few to book, at 6pm before the main treats of the evening, blending art and architecture. Proud to partner with the London Book Fair for London Book and Screen Week, and to join the voices of our house with the voices of some of London’s most exciting writers. £15-£25
In ON THE RECORD, Guest Director, Cathy Renztenbrink brings leading authors Nina Stibbe (Love Nina, Man at the Helm), Damian Barr (Maggie & Me) and Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Top Knot), aimed at revealing the inner secrets of publishing, and how to put your life on the page. BUY TICKETS at LitFest Box Office: Booka Bookshop, Church Street, Oswestry on 01691 662244 or thru link.
Sathnam Sanghera is an award-winning writer for The Times. His first book, The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award and the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. Marriage Material is his first novel. It was picked by Waterstones as one of the fiction debuts of the year and shortlisted for the 2013 Costa First Novel Award. Listen to him discuss writing and books.
Sathnam Sanghera will talk about how his book Marriage Material was itself inspired by the novel The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett. This event looks at the process of one piece of writing inspiring another. The Hearth Centre‘s most recent project, Writing Begets Writing used local writers who led fiction writing masterclasses in psychiatric hospitals and community mental health groups. Drawing inspiration from Sathnam Sanghera, and the process he uses, the writers inspired new voices with startling and memorable stories to tell, generating a buzz of excitement around the Writing Begets Writing competition. The best writing produced will feature in a new anthology alongside extracts of the work that inspired them, to be published by Nine Arches Press. Sathnam will present prizes to our competition winners, and we’ll hear some of the winning entries. In Association with The Hearth Centre and supported by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Meera Syal to Sathnam Sanghera about her long-awaited third novel,The House of Hidden Mothers: a tragicomic story of friendship, love and the lengths some women will go to have a child on evening of October 5th.
Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett’s classic novel The Old Wives’ Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop – itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities. For Stoke Literary Festival, Sathnam discusses his epic tale of family, love, and politics, spanning the second half of the twentieth century, and the start of the twenty-first. The story is told with humour, tenderness and insight, it manages to be both a unique and urgent survey of modern Britain by one of Britain’s most promising young writers, and an ingenious reimagining of a classic work of fiction. Sathnam will be interviewing Margaret Drabble at an event in the afternoon.
Sathnam Sanghera discusses Marriage Material. A comic re-telling of Arnold Bennett’s classic novel The Old Wives’ Tale, it is set in an Asian corner-shop in Wolverhampton. Writer and journalist Sathnam Sanghera’s first book was the memoir The Boy with the Topknot, named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. Marriage Material was shortlisted for 2013 Costa First Novel Award. Tickets £5.
Originally from Wolverhampton Sathnam is an award-winning writer for The Times. His first book, ‘The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton’, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award. ‘Marriage Material’ is his first novel and taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett’s classic novel The Old Wives’ Tale, tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop. Includes book signing and book sale. Details TBC.