Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Events Items

'Aftermath' Preti Taneja in conversation with Maureen Freely

Date/Time: Thursday 19th May 2022, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Preti Taneja is a writer, activist and Professor of World Literature at Newcastle University. Her debut novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press, 2017) won the Desmond Eliott Prize for Fiction. Her second book Aftermath (And Other Stories, 2022) is a lament on trauma, terror, prison and grief. Her writing has been published in The White Review, the Guardian, Vogue India, the New Statesman and in anthologies of short stories, essays, literary criticism and prose poetry. Preti has taught writing in prisons, worked with arts practitioners around the world mediating their own conflict and post conflict zones, and with young people across deprived parts of the UK who want to get published. As a New Generation Thinker, she broadcasts for Radio 3 and 4 on world literature and culture.

With Ben Crowe she co-founded ERA Films, a collective working on issues as diverse as Iraq’s refugee crisis, in Rwanda with survivors of the genocide and with women in slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya and on major interactive multimedia documentaries including on migrant workers' rights.

‘Aftermath is a book that’s almost impossible to categorise: it sits in a tradition of bereavement literature; it sits with poetry. There is no fake moralising in its pages, just Taneja patiently walking us through the wreckage of unimaginable grief, noticing everything, lifting up the rubble, she makes us question everything we know and hold fast – a courageous and brilliant book.’ Mona Arshi 

‘Astonishing. Radical, beautiful, broken, intimate. A surge. A yearning. A tribute. An indictment. You won't read another book like this ever. Taneja's attempt to wrestle with so much, with radical empathy, survivor's guilt, politics – is a masterclass work of literary brilliance.’ Nikesh Shukla

Maureen Freely is an author, journalist, translator, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick University and Director of English PEN. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Free event, and all very welcome.


Preti Taneja (c) the Guardian