Welcome to Bookish – the new book club for people who share a passion for powerful storytelling. Each month our community will come together to meet one of the great authors of our times.
On the night you’ll have a chance to relax, have a cocktail with like minded people, hear from the writer, and share your thoughts. And if you’d like, we can send you the book in advance so you can read ahead…
For our inaugural book club, join the bestselling author of Empireland and The Boy With The Topknot for an epic tale of family, love, politics, and homecoming. The son of an illiterate factory worker, Sathnam Sanghera started school unable to speak English – only to graduate from Cambridge and emerge as one of the country’s most loved and important writers.
Adapted into a major BBC series, his memoir The Boy With The Topknot is a hilarious and heart-breaking account of his upbringing in the West Midlands. Empireland, his exploration of the legacy of British colonialism, has ignited a national conversation around our imperial past and shed light on how Britain shaped the world and the empire shaped us.
Now he joins Bookish to tell us about Marriage Material, his hugely acclaimed novel telling the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop – a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities.
When Arjan returns to the Black Country after his father’s death, his family’s shop represents everything he tried to leave behind. But his mother insists on keeping the business open, and Arjun finds himself being dragged back from London, and forced into big decisions about his own relationship. Yet Arjan’s story isn’t the first and it won’t be the last: Surinder and Kamaljit, two sisters, a generation back in the family, also experienced their own share of betrayals and loyalties, loves and regrets…
Bookish is presented in partnership with the How To Academy
Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.
Sathnam Sanghera is author of Empireland: How Modern Britain is Shaped by its Imperial Past, as well as the memoir The Boy With The Topknot: Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, and the novel Marriage Material. He is a columnist and feature writer for The Times and in 2016 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.