Cambridge Literary Festival

Wednesday February 24 2021


Award-winning novelist and journalist Sathnam Sanghera argues that Britain is a direct product of its violent imperial past. Despite this, education surrounding our colonial history remains stunted, as it is still a subject of both shame and glorification. Following his memoir, The Boy With The Topknot, and novel, Marriage MaterialSanghera introduces his new book: Empireland: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain. In it, he explores how imperialism underpins our society: from the foundation of the NHS, to the nature of our racism, our economic status and our wealth, and the politics of exceptionalism that inspired Brexit. Join Sanghera alongside chair Kavita Puri, writer and author of Partition Voices: Untold British Stories, as they discuss his enlightening and urgent new book. £5 via link


Monday February 15 2021


Award-winning journalist, author and presenter Sathnam Sanghera speaks with reporter-filmmaker Amandeep Kaur Bhangu about his latest book, Empireland. Described as presenting ‘an irresistible case for reviewing much of what we think we know about the reality and legacy of the British Empire’ (James O’Brien), Sathnam addresses the many ways in which imperialism continues, to this day, to permeate aspects of our lives – from politics through to culture. On zoom, but registration needed via link.

The London Library with Samira Ahmed

Wednesday February 10, 2021


Sathnam Sanghera’s brilliantly illuminating new book, Empireland looks at how profoundly our imperial past has shaped modern Britain: from how we live to how we think, from the foundation of the NHS to the nature of our racism, from our distrust of intellectuals in public life to the exceptionalism that imbued the campaign for Brexit and the government’s early response to the Covid crisis. Yet empire is a subject weirdly hidden from view. In conversation with Samira Ahmed, he discusses this bewildering contradiction and why, at a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, it is so important to look honestly at our past, to understand who we are and what unites us. Empireland can be ordered from West Hampstead’s lovely indie bookshop, West End Lane Books. N.B. This is an online event. You will be sent a viewing link and password with your booking confirmation. The event will be available to watch with the same link and password anytime afterwards.

Wolverhampton Literature Festival

Saturday February 13, 2021

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Sathnam Sanghera, author and columnist, in conversation with Natasha Junejo, founder of #SouthAsianWriter to discuss latest book Empireland: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain. Come and join us to celebrate the release of Sathnam Sanghera’s latest book which focuses on exploring Britain’s Imperial Past and how this has shaped all aspects of our current society. The book covers how British empire has influenced everything from the foundation of the NHS, to our racism, to our economic status and our wealth. Sathnam, with Natasha, will be looking at how imperialism, if we choose to see it or not, is at the centre of the way we think, go about our lives and conduct politics. In Person Tickets £12 (+ booking fee)Livestream: £6 (+ booking fee)

Times Plus launch event for Empireland

Thursday January 28 2021


Join Times Plus on Thursday, January 28 for an evening with Sathnam Sanghera, columnist, The Times, in conversation with Aasmah Mir, Times Radio breakfast host. They will be discussing Sathnam’s latest book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain. Exclusive subscriber offer: Empireland; How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain is published by Viking, Penguin on January 28, 2021 RRP £18.99. You can pre-order the book at a discounted price of £14.99 from via the Timesplus website. To register for tickets, click on the link and then ‘register online’ in the information box. Please note, you will need to be logged in to see the booking button. The event will be hosted online and there is no charge to attend. Times Plus just ask that you register online as you would with our usual Times+ events. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with further details. Our virtual event provider, Market Partner, will email you on the morning of the event with a unique link at the email address you used to register for your place, and will let us know that you’ve attended.

Sathnam Sanghera: Locked Down with Gen Z

Friday October 9th 2020

Town Hall, Main Hall, Cheltenham

When lockdown started, The Times columnist and author Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Topknot) invited his two young nieces aged 21 and 23 to live with him in his London flat. As they bickered over film choices, snacking, alcohol consumption and long hairs blocking the drains, his articles and social media posts chronicling the experience proved hugely popular. Sathnam and his nieces Jasveen and Simran Kular talk to the Labour MP Jess Philips (Truth to Power) about family ties, learning from each other, and life with an uncool uncle. Cheltenham Literary Festival. Online viewing option. £14 plus booking fee; Live Captioned

Civilised Sundays at Jikoni

21 Jul 2019

Jikoni, 19 - 21 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 3DG

Sathnam Sanghera whose memoir The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton was recently turned into a BBC drama will be talking about his life and career and how his latest project, a Channel 4 documentary on the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, The Massacre That Shook The Empire has affected the way he sees Britain. He will be interviewed by renowned author and historian Amandeep Madra. To complement the conversation, Jikoni’s Chef Patron Ravinder Bhogal has created a menu reflecting both their recent trips to Amritsar. Dishes will include Langar Dhal Croquetas with Punjabi Carrot Achaar, Paneer Gnudi, Saag and Salted Dried Paneer, Amritsari Fritto Misto as well as a traditional Punjabi Thali featuring a variety of pulses and vegetables normally found off restaurant menus and exclusively in Punjabi home kitchens. For something sweet, a rich dessert of Carrot, Cardamom and Vanilla Kheer Creme Brûlée. Booking essential via link.

BLF 2018 – guest-curated by Sathnam Sanghera

Friday 5 Oct 2018

The West Midlands tends to get forgotten in discussions of regional literature. Maybe, because it takes in parts of Shropshire, Warwickshire, the Black Country and Leicestershire, it can feel more formless than Scotland or The North or Wales or The South. But having set two books – my memoir The Boy With the Topknot and my novel Marriage Material – in my home town of Wolverhampton, I do think there is certain way of thinking and writing when you are neither from the North or the South, and when you live in an English urban, multicultural setting which is not London. Moreover, some of the greatest names in literary history, from Shakespeare to W.H. Auden to JRR Tolkien, came from here. I couldn’t, unfortunately, persuade these particular writers to make this year’s Birmingham Literary Festival, but I drew up a dream list of living authors with direct links to the region, emotionally blackmailed them individually, and am delighted that most agreed to come. I look forward to personally introducing Caitlin Moran, Nigel Slater, Jonathan Coe and many others. Booking open now.. Sathnam Sanghera

Creative Conversations

Monday 17 Sep 2018

Birmingham Hippodrome

The journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera will present Creative Conversations at the Birmingham Hippodrome. In association with West Midlands Growth Company, Creative Conversations explore the role of the creative industries in urban place-making, regeneration, education and employment. Enjoy high-quality discourse as we probe into the impact of the creative industries on our region’s economy and beyond. Creative Conversations is also a chance to network with some of the most well-known names in the city from across the sectors. Tickets are £49.50pp to include welcome drink, light two-course seated lunch with wine. Places are strictly limited.

The Festival of Thetford and the Punjab

Friday 13 Jul 2018

Thetford Library

The Festival of Thetford and the Punjab will also explore the under-appreciated links between the town and the heart of the Sikh community. Organised by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP), it will mark the 125th anniversary of the death of the Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last king of the Punjab. Speakers include, journalist and author of The Boy with the Top Knot, Sathnam Sanghera; Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha.