Join us for this special opportunity to hear work from some of the most exciting voices in contemporary fiction from this year and next. Ingrid Persaud will read from Love After Love; DBC Pierre will read from Meanwhile in Dopamine City; Una Mannion will read from A Crooked Tree (January 2021); Rebecca Watson will read from little scratch (January 2021); Sam Byers will read from Come Join our Disease (March 2021) and Leone Ross will read from This One Sky Day (April 2021). The event will be chaired by Joy Francis, Executive Director at Words of Colour.
Discover more about the books here:
As currently featured on BBC Two’s Between the Covers, the spellbinding debut novel from the winner of the BBC Short Story Award, Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud is a love letter to family and friendship in all its forms. Meet the unforgettable Ramdin-Chetan family: forged through loneliness, broken by secrets, saved by love. Love After Love asks us to consider what happens at the brink of human forgiveness, and offers hope to anyone who has loved and lost and has yet to find their way back.
Born in Trinidad, Ingrid Persaud won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017 and the BBC Short Story Award in 2018. She read law at the London School of Economics and was a legal academic before taking degrees in fine art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Central Saint Martins. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Prospect and Pree magazines. Ingrid lives in London and Barbados.
Rebecca Watson‘s little scratch is a debut like no other (‘Extraordinary.’ New Yorker). Telling the story of a day in the life on an unnamed woman processing recent sexual violence, the novel is a powerful evocation of how the internal and external aspects of our lives exist in a helix and what it means to live out the course of a single day consumed my trauma.
Rebecca Watson is Assistant Arts Editor at the Financial Times. Her work has been published in the Times Literary Supplement and Granta. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the White Review Short Story Prize.
Rage. That’s the feeling engulfing the car as Ellen’s mother swerves over to the hard shoulder and orders her daughter out onto the roadside. Ignoring the protests of her other children, she accelerates away. What would you do as you watch your little sister getting smaller in the rear-view window? In Una Mannion‘s much anticipated debut, A Crooked Tree, the Gallagher children are going to find out. This moment is the beginning of a summer that will change everything.
Una Mannion was born in Philadelphia and lives in County Sligo, Ireland. She has won numerous prizes for her work including the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award. Her work has been published in the Irish Times, the Lonely Crowd, Crannóg and Bare Fiction.
From the Man Booker-winning author of Vernon God Little comes Meanwhile in Dopamine City by DBC Pierre, this week shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. The story of a hapless father’s love and loss, and a speedball, starburst satire, Meanwhile in Dopamine City is a passionate, freewheeling work: a riotous cry for the soul and the flesh and the heart in the cooling bathwater of our automatic times.
DBC Pierre is the author of Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out in Wonderland and Vernon God Little, which won the Man Booker Prize, the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel, the Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman Award and the James Joyce Award.
A darkly comic and profoundly affecting novel about resistance, radicalism and redemption: Come Join Our Disease by Sam Byers. Maya is homeless and when she is given a chance to re-enter society again via a tech company angling to raise its philanthropic profile, she is made to document her inspiring process on Instagram to show that anyone can be productive. When sickness itself becomes a kind of revolution, Maya starts a movement with other outcasts.
Sam Byers’ debut novel, Idiopathy, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize and was the winner of a Betty Trask Award. His second novel, Perfidious Albion, was longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and shortlisted for the Encore Prize.
Welcome to Popisho, where the world is stirring awake again as two star-crossed lovers try to find their way back to one another across this single day. A sensual meditation on the nature of love and addiction, Leone Ross‘s This One Sky Day is a dazzling and incisive novel that satirises postcolonial society and celebrates oddness. The sky is pink, and some wonder if it will ever be blue again.
Leone Ross is a fiction writer, editor and academic. She was born in England and grew up in Jamaica. Her first novel, All the Blood Is Red, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and her short-story collection, Come Let Us Sing Anyway, was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize and shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize in 2018. She is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Roehampton University in London and a senior fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.
Joy Francis is founder and executive director of Words of Colour Productions, a creative communications agency that promotes, facilitates and develops writers of colour, of all genres, and collaborates with arts, creative and writing industries to increase cultural inclusion. A longstanding campaigner for inclusion in media and publishing, Joy helped to establish the world’s first Diversity and the Media MA at the University of Westminster in partnership with the Media Diversity Institute and was the inaugural project manager for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships, a partnership between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arts Council England. She worked with Spread the Word on initiating the Writing the Future report (2015) and more recently curated the four day digital launch of the Rethinking Diversity in Publishing report (by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente) in partnership with The Bookseller and Spread the Word. Joy and Words of Colour are currently collaborating with the award-winning independent publisher Jacaranda Books on its bold Twenty in 2020 initiative, to publish 20 Black British authors in 2020, in partnership with Foyles, Audible and The London Library. And she recently co-curated the month-long Take Flight Hub programme for emerging writers of colour, in partnership with UCL and Spread the Word.