Here we begin an online series of former Best of Young British Novelists introducing writers from the fourth edition, with Salman Rushdie (1983) on Sunjeev Sahota.
I remember when I was a judge of an earlier Best of Young British selection. The most pleasant part of the job was feeling the shock of discovery. You open a book by a writer you’ve never heard of and a new voice leaps off the page and makes you listen. The real thing: it declares itself instantly and all you can do is surrender, happily, to its power. I read this piece without knowing its title or the writer’s name (both Top Secret at the time) but the talent couldn’t be redacted. There it is on every page, strong, fresh and true. I look forward to reading more.
Sunjeev Sahota was born in Derby and currently lives in Leeds with his wife and daughter. His first novel Ours are the Streets, was published in 2011. ‘Arrivals’ is an excerpt from The Years of the Runaways, his unfinished second novel, forthcoming from Picador.
Portrait of Sunjeev Sahota by Nadav Kander as part of his series in the issue: The Best of Young British Novelists.