We are thrilled to welcome both Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams to the bookshop to celebrate their brilliant and thought-provoking novel, Diego Garcia.
Edinburgh, 2014. Two writer friends, Damaris and Oliver Pablo, escape London, the city that killed his brother. They spend their days trying to get to the library, bickering over their tanking bitcoin, failing to write or resist the sadness. Then they meet Diego, a poet. He tells them he is named for his mother’s island in the Chagos Archipelago, which she and her community were forced to leave by British soldiers in 1973. Damaris and Oliver Pablo become obsessed with this notorious episode and the continuing resistance of the Chagossian people, and want to write in solidarity.
But how to share a story that is not theirs to tell? And how to account for a loss not theirs to grieve? A tragicomedy interrogating the powers of literature alongside the crimes of the British government, Diego Garcia is a collaborative fiction that opens up possibilities for the novel and seeks other ways of living together.
Natasha Soobramanien is the author of Genie and Paul (Myriad 2012). She studied English at the University of Hull and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She stayed on after her MA to do a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing, for which she submitted an early draft of Genie and Paul.
Luke Williams is a lecturer teaching prose fiction and creative-critical work across all Birkbeck’s Creative Writing programmes. Luke is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. His first novel, The Echo Chamber, was published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton in May 2011 and won the 2011 Saltire Award for Best First Book. Luke’s practice is research-based and informed by his studies in History: through his work he seeks to interrogate the formal gap between history and story.
Soobramanien and Williams met during their MA in Creative Writing studies at the University of East Anglia. Soobramanien contributed two chapters to William’s novel The Echo Chamber.
Set to be an inspiring and unmissable evening, we hope to see you there! Complimentary wine and fizzy water will be on hand as well.