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An Evening with Alastair Sawday

20th October, 2021, Steyning Cricket Club

The Year of the Runaways

The Year of the Runaways

Sunjeev Sahota’s first novel Ours Are The Streets gained him a place on the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list of 2013 and this his second novel was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker prize. Pertinent in view of the situation in Calais and Greece, this novel, set in Sheffield, is a brilliant depiction of the aspirations and daily struggles of three Indian men sharing accommodation with a group of other migrant workers and, in another part of the city, a devoutly Hindu Indian woman trapped and compromised by her marriage of convenience. The novel moves skilfully between India and England, initially taking the form of short stories and novellas about the characters in childhood and in the present day, and then as the main protagonists’ lives intermingle, the narrative gains further strength and opens still more the question of Western responsibilities to those less fortunate. An engrossing and humane read.