• Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Arts and Culture

Sathnam Sanghera’s new book will be published in June

Sanghera’s Empireland debuted at number two in the Sunday Times bestseller charts.

Sathnam Sanghera

By: Pramod Thomas

Puffin books will publish award-winning British Indian author Sathnam Sanghera’s new book Stolen History: The Truth about the British Empire on 8 June 2023, the publisher said in a statement.

It claimed that the book will be an essential introduction to the British Empire for readers aged 9+ and the paperback will have black-and-white illustrations by Jen Khatun, a children’s book Illustrator of Bangladeshi/Indian heritage.

Sanghera’s Empireland debuted at number two in the Sunday Times bestseller charts and won the British Book Awards’ Book of the Year for Non-Fiction this year.

According to the publishers, the book answers all the important questions that children need to know about Britain’s imperial history. “It explores how Britain’s empire once made it the most powerful nation on earth and how it still affects our lives in many ways today – from the words we use, to the food we eat and the sports we play, right down to our fixation with a good cup of tea,” the statement added.

“I’ve resisted suggestions that I write a kids’ book on Empire on the grounds that I didn’t want to sanitise the history. But I think I’ve found a tone that allows me to be both honest and entertaining. I’m really excited that kids might soon have access to knowledge about the British Empire that I only stumbled across at the age of 45. Becoming at ease with this history is essential to Britain becoming a saner country,” said Sanghera.

The book was acquired by senior commissioning editor Emily Lunn and commissioning editor Phoebe Jascourt. They bought exclusive rights for UK, British Commonwealth and Europe for one title from Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency.

Jascourt said: “Sathnam has an incredible gift for writing about British Empire in a way that is illuminating, often heart-breaking and thoroughly engaging. His words combined with Jen’s illustrations will arm children with a deeper understanding of how the British Empire shaped modern Britain, as well as offer advice to young readers about how they can use this knowledge to fight for a kinder, more inclusive world. It’s so important for children to learn about this key part of history, and I feel very proud to be publishing this book with such a talented author and illustrator.”

Sanghera was born to Punjabi immigrant parents in Wolverhampton in 1976. He was unable to speak English initially but went on to graduate from Christ’s College, Cambridge with a first-class degree in English Language and Literature. He has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards twice, for his memoir The Boy with The Topknot and his novel Marriage Material.

Empireland was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction, and won the Nibbies Book of the Year for Non-Fiction: Narrative in 2022. He lives in London.

Illustrator Khatun grew up in Winchester and has published work with Macmillan Children’s Books, Oxford University Press, Walker Books and many more, the statement further said.

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