Eighteen years old and on his way to India for a vacation, Sunjeev Sahota picked up his first novel from an airport bookshop. It was definitely not going to be his last. Today, after one successful novel and a second on the way, he finds himself included in the prestigious list of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists, 2013. Of Sikh origin, Sahota is a third generation British, and his debut novel, Ours are the Streets (2011), addressed the controversial subject of suicide bombers. Excerpts from an interview:
As part of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists list, you’ve joined a long list of illustrious names: Jeanette Winterson, Martin Amis, Monica Ali, Kazuo Ishiguro. What does this mean to you?
It’s wonderful, actually. It’s such a compliment, a pat on the back that makes you go on. The whole thing feels like the world is telling you what you’re doing is great, and to carry on doing it. It feels like your work has been recognised and liked. I’m very grateful for it.