Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Events Items

Debut Novelists: Sabba Khan, Maddie Mortimer and Sheena Patel reading and in conversation with Preti Taneja

Date/Time: Thursday 17 November 2022, 7pm to 8.15pm

Venue: Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Two brilliant debut writers and an extraordinary graphic novelist join NCLA to talk about their critically acclaimed books. Ranging through grief, identity, obsession, cancer, and the strangeness of bodies as we try to understand ourselves, join Jhalak Prize-winning Sabba Khan (The Roles We Play), Booker Prize-nominated Maddie Mortimer (Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies) and Observer top 10 debut writer Sheena Patel (I’m A Fan) for an evening of reading and discussion about their work, and all things publishing.

Two-thirds of today’s British Pakistani diaspora trace their origins back to Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, a district that saw mass displacement and migration when it was submerged by the waters of a dam built after Partition. Sabba Khan’s The Roles We Play (Myriad, 2021) beautifully illustrates this history and present: it was shortlisted by the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition 2018 and won the Jhalak Prize Book of the Year and the British Book Design and Production Award 2022. Nikesh Shukla has called it ‘A beautiful and bittersweet book about heritage and identity, finding oneself and one's way in the world.’ 

Maddie Mortimer's Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador, 2022) engages in extraordinary prose with Maddie’s own grief at the loss of her mother to cancer. The novelwon the 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize for best debut novel and was longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize. ‘Here’s a book to dance and sing about. An extraordinary, kaleidoscopic dive into language.’ Daisy Johnson.

Poet and writer Sheena Patel’s I’m A Fan (Rough Trade Books, 2022) saw her selected as one of the Observer's Top 10 best debut novelists. ‘A fast, fizzing cherry bomb of a debut... mining the darkest depths of coercion, seduction and abuser dynamics... Like a sociopathic ex who's stalking your Twitter, I'm A Fan will stick with you for a very long time.’ Observer.

Preti Taneja is Director of NCLA and Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Free event, and all very welcome.

Please note bookings close at 4pm on the day of the event.

Sabba Khan