Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla

The One Who Wrote Destiny

FoI at Waterstones/
Wed 11 April 2018

Nikesh Shukla

The One Who Wrote Destiny

Nikesh Shukla
Wed 11 April 2018,

In 2016 The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays edited by award-winning writer Nikesh Shukla, was voted Britain’s favourite book at the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards. Since then, Shukla has launched a new literary journal for British writers of colour, The Good Journal, and a new literary agency to find and develop black and minority ethnic, disabled and LGBTQ writers. In this event, he talks about his work and about his new novel The One Who Wrote Destiny, a tale of three generations of the same family, riven by feuds and falling-outs, united by fates and fortunes.

Mukesh has just moved from Kenya to the drizzly northern town of Keighley. He was expecting fame, fortune, the Rolling Stones and a nice girl, not poverty, loneliness and racism. Still, he might not have found Keith Richards, but he did find the girl.

Neha is dying. Lung cancer, a genetic gift from her mother and an invocation to forge a better relationship with her brother and her widowed father before it’s too late. The problem is, her brother is an unfunny comedian and her idiot father is a first-generation immigrant who moved to Keighley of all places.

Rakesh is grieving. He lost his mother and his sister to the same illness, and his career as a comedian is flat-lining. Sure, his sister would have claimed that it was because he was simply unfunny, but he can’t help feel that there is more to it than that – more to do with who he is and where he comes from rather than the content of his jokes.

Ba has never looked after her two young grandchildren before. After her daughter died, her useless son-in-law dumped them on her doorstep for a month and now she has to try and work out how to bond with two children who are used England, not to the rhythms of Kenya…

Image credit Ailsa Fineron

 

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