Join us for the next #CCIsSoWhite series, a Book Launch and Drinks Reception for Letters to a Writer of Colour! Featuring writers Xiaolu Guo, Tahmima Anam, Taymour Soomro and City lecturer Deepa Anappara.
We invite you to join us to launch the important Letters to a Writer of Colour, an inspiring and empowering collection of personal essays on the power of literature and the craft of writing from an international array of writers of colour.
Edited by SCC’s very own Deepa Anappara and Taymour Soomro, the book features seventeen essays by Madeleine Thien, Xiaolu Guo, Tahmima Anam, Myriam Gurba and Mohammed Hanif, among others, asking us to reevaluate the codes and conventions that have over time shaped our assumptions about how fiction should be written.
Xiaolu Guo, Tahmima Anam, Taymour Soomro (joining us virtually) and Deepa Anappara will explore how we can create a more inclusive conversation about storytelling.
- 'A whip-smart collection of essays. I read parts of it with the joy of recognition and other parts with the astonishment of revelation' – Kamila Shamsie'.
- 'Electric essays that speak to the experience of writing from the periphery . . . a guide, a comfort, and a call all at once’ – Laila Lalami, author of Conditional Citizen.
- 'Letters to a Writer of Colour is a brave and triumphant act of resistance and decolonisation, a necessary resource for writers and educators alike, and a must-have book for readers who care about diversity and inclusion in literature. Reading this book, I felt seen and empowered' – Nguyen Phan Que Mai, internationally bestselling author of The Mountains Sing and Dust Child.
Tahmima Anam’s first novel, A Golden Age, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and went on to be translated into 27 languages. It was followed by The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award and has been named one of Granta’s Best Young British novelists. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she trained as a Social Anthropologist at Harvard University and works at a tech company, an experience which formed the basis of her latest novel, The Startup Wife.
Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese British novelist, memoirist and filmmaker. Her novels include A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, and I Am China. Her memoir Once Upon A Time In The East won the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017 and shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Her recent novel A Lover’s Discourse, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020 and longlisted for the Orwell Prize. Radical, A Life of My Own is published by Chatto 2023. Named as a Granta’s Best of Young British Novelist in 2013, she also directed a dozen films, including How Is Your Fish Today (Sundance Official Selection) and UFO In Her Eyes (TIFF). Her feature She, A Chinese received the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno Festival 2009. Her documentary We Went to Wonderland was in the Official Selection of ND/NF at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Once Upon A Time Proletarian was selected for the Horizon Section at Venice Film Festival 2009. She had her film retrospectives at London’s Whitechapel Gallery 2019 and Cinematheque Switzerland and the Greek Film Archive in Athens. She was a 2021 visiting professor at Columbia University in New York and is currently a Samuel Fischer Guest Professor at the Free University in Berlin and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Taymour Soomro was born in Lahore, Pakistan. He read law at Cambridge University and Stanford Law School. He has worked as a corporate solicitor in New York and Milan, a lecturer at a university in Karachi, an agricultural estate manager in rural Sindh and a publicist for a luxury fashion brand in London. He has published a textbook on law with Oxford University Press and has written for the Pakistani news media. His short story ‘Philosophy of the Foot’ appeared in The New Yorker in January 2019. His short fiction has since been published in Ninth Letter and The Southern Review. His debut novel, Other Names for Love was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US) and Harvill Secker (UK) in July 2022. He is currently a fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Deepa Anappara was born in Kerala, South India. Her first novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line won the Edgar Award for Best Novel, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Indian Literature. It was named as one of the best books of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and NPR, and is being translated into 23 languages. She previously worked as a journalist in India, and her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on children won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards, the Every Human has Rights Media Awards, and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism.
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