Tag Archives: Kerry Hudson

News roundup: Cari Hunter’s Bad Medicine, Blogs & Giveaways from Amy Dunne & Kiki Archer, Nicola Griffith’s Tiptree Honour and More!

20 Feb

Fancy a quickie? You’re in luck. Here’s this week’s short and sweet UK LesFic news.

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tumbledownforblogCari Hunter‘s been posting over on the Bold Strokes blog on being an irritating spouse and pedant. It’s a short and typically funny piece where she talks about writing medical scenes and getting the balance “right and not sounding like a pompous arse”:

“There are quite a few perils involved in my day job as a paramedic: driving fast on blue lights, drunkards with lively fists, an abundance of spilled bodily fluids, and patients who decide—for whatever reason—to answer the door naked. If I’m honest, I can cope with pretty much all of the above, but one side effect of the job is more disconcerting: my wife will no longer watch medical dramas on the telly with me.”

Get yourself over here to read the rest of the blog.

Cari’s latest novel, Tumbledown, is also now out on Kindle.

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onefootMeanwhile, Kiki Archer‘s characters from One Foot Onto the Ice have been taking a peek at her other novels. The blog is a nice fictional piece to give you a taster of Kiki’s characters (and there’s a giveaway too):

Susan laughed. “The lady in my book’s about to sing during an interview.”
“What’s the book?”
“Binding Devotion by Kiki Archer. Pippa, one of the main characters, is on an interview for a job working as PA to the other main character, Andi, who happens to be a wonderfully charismatic lesbian advocate for LGBT rights.”
Jenna rolled her eyes. “And this Pippa’s a lesbian too?”
“Yes.”
“So, let me guess. They get it on?…”

Kiki’s doing a giveaway of a signed paperback version of One Foot Onto the Ice, so make sure you leave a comment before Tuesday to be in with a chance.

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BSB_Secret_LiesAmy Dunne‘s also been blogging over at Women and Words and is doing a giveaway (deadline Friday!). She talks about her well-respected début novel, Secret Lies,  a story of first love, traumatic lives and the taboo subject of self-harm, an area she discussed leaving out with her editor:

“So, why did I want to keep it in the book? To raise awareness. I want people to understand that it’s a deeply complex issue and that more research has to be conducted. It’s not going to go away and ignoring it is dangerous.

If even one young person, a parent, family member, or teacher enjoys reading Secret Lies and takes something positive away too, then I’ve succeeded in doing what I set out to do.

Above anything else, it’s a coming-of-age romance story. First love (is something many of us can relate to and) is full of a whole host of wonderful feelings and experiences.”

The full piece is here.

You can also find the latest review for Secret Lies on Frances and Lynne’s blog

“Two main realizations struck me as I turned the last page. The first was just how realistic the main characters, and in fact all the characters, were. They were flawed, but there were still many good qualities to them… A very realistic book for middle/older teens that I wish I had been around when I was a teenager.”

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330x235valmcdermidWe were contacted a little while ago by a reader pining for news of LesFic events north of the border in Scotland. While we’ve not managed to find something that’s entirely lesbian fiction-orientated, Val McDermid will be appearing at Aye Write! (Glasgow’s book festival) on Saturday 12th April. More details are to be announced, but the festival has a website here with some early programme information. We’ll also keep an eye on the site and see what else we can dig up a bit closer to the time.

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hild coverA big congratulations this week to Nicola Griffith whose epic novel Hild has been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List. The Tiptree Award is  an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender, and the judges had this to say about Hild:

This stunningly beautiful historical novel describes what life might have been like for a woman whose mother has arranged for her to be “the light of the world”: the real-life St. Hilda of Whitby. In a rollicking good read, the reader is drawn into action and adventure as Hild becomes a king’s seer, a warrior, and a vessel through which the dynamics of power and gender in war-ravaged 7th-century Britain can be explored.

For more about the award, the winner, and the honour list, hop over to this website.

Nicola was actually chatting about writing Science Fiction when she heard the good news. Her blog piece, largely focusing on Ammonite and Slow River is over here.

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Kerry-Hudson-008Finally, for any writers there’s a workshop on March 23rd with Paul Burston and Kerry Hudson (Tony Hogan bought me an Ice Cream Float before he Stole My Ma) on overcoming writer’s block. Topics include:

  • Storyboarding – overcoming the ‘fear of the blank screen’
  • What writing groups can do for you, and how to find the right one
  • Deadlines, feedback and brainstorming
  • How to read like a writer (and how it can help you)
  • Tips for building confidence

For more information on this workshop with these two experienced and respected writers follow this link.

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That’s all folks!

News Roundup: VG Lee interview, reviews and events

7 Feb

I did start this news post yesterday by saying it was a quiet week, but with a late flurry of activity its turned out to be just as busy as usual. Here is the news:

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VGLeeThere’s a particularly nice and chatty interview with VG Lee over at Introspections of a Displaced Boulevardier. Wayne Herbert and Val have a natter about how she started writing at a relatively late age, her books and some advice for new writers:

As a new writer you should focus your energies on your work until it is absolutely finished and polished. You should not think of an agent. You should not think of a bestseller. And just get on and do what you are supposed to be doing which is writing. People often ask after six months, sorry this is a bit of a rant as I do get cross, how they should get an agent or ‘how do I get published’ and haven’t even started writing a bloody book. So write, write and write.

The interview is full of VG Lee’s lovely humour and you can read the rest of “Another Mini Battenberg” over here.

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On to reviews:

tony hoganKerry Hudson‘s Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma was reviewed over on the Boston Globe. The glowing review describes the book as:

Wickedly, brilliantly, inescapably funny in spite of its often-horrific scenarios, Hudson’s debut is, by equal turns, startling, devastating, and exhilarating.

See Right Through Me- Draft2Prolific reviewer Terry Baker has also been reviewing UK novels this week. First up is her review of LT Smith‘s See Right Through Me. She had this to say of the tale of loveable accident-prone Gemma and her steady doctor Maria:

I’ve read a few books by L.T Smith and loved each one of them. This one is no exception. This book is well written and hilarious in parts…Gemma and Maria have a wonderful chemistry between them which really comes through in the story.”

You can read the rest of the review here.

guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Next is Guilty Hearts by Jade Winters. Terry had this to say about the tale of a honey trap with a twist:

“From the outset I felt an affinity with all the characters and their lives. Although Kathryn is closeted, married and successful, she’s also a novice where love is concerned. Rachel is a bit of a player, but is also a novice at love. When these two women meet and begin to get to know one another, I felt their yearning and vulnerability shine through the pages.”

Read the rest of the review here.

BSB_Secret_LiesAmy Dunne‘s debut continues to garner praise. The Velvet Lounger reviewed Amy’s gritty YA novel Secrets and Lies and had this to say.

“This is an excellent and enthralling first novel.  Amy Dunne has caught the mood of 17 year-old emotions and experience brilliantly. On the one hand it is a tale of young adults emerging and exploring, with all the angst and melodrama that entails. On the other it is a serious exploration of both abuse and self harm and the impact they have on these girls internal and public lives…I for one am delighted to see a new British talent emerge. Looking forward to watching Ms Dunne develop this gift.”

The full review can be found here.

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A couple of events for your diaries:

RJ Samuel reading on FridayIrish writer RJ Samuel will be performing at A Place to Be in Galway. She’ll be reading excerpts from Falling Colours, Casting Shadows and some very short stories. You can catch her on Sunday 16th February, 5.30pm – 7.00pm at “dela” Restaurant, Dominick Street, Galway.

Cherry PottsCherry Potts is very busy through LGBT History Month. On Friday 21st February she’ll be at Crofton Park Library. She’ll be reading from her own short story collection. With 16 stories to choose from, she promises no repeats of tales shared in her other South London LGBT month gigs. You’ll hear about grief, old age, spiders and song, all from a lesbian perspective. They’ll be opportunities to chat, ask questions and buy books. More details here.

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tumbledownforblogCari Hunter had a tremendous response to her book giveaway for Tumbledown. To win this excellent sequel to Desolation Point she invited readers to leave a sweary comment and people were only too happy to hurl abuse at her. She announced the winners here together with a consolation prize for the losers of two scenes cut from Desolation Point.

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Finally, if you fancy chatting to a couple of the UK authors, the book group lesficREADER on Facebook is hosting a chat with Amy Dunne and Andrea Bramhall. They’ll be discussing their books (Secrets and Lies and Clean Slate, respectively) over the weekend. Join the group here if you want to eavesdrop or join in.

News roundup: new authors, some teasers from Cari Hunter and Kiki Archer and interviews with Nicola Griffith and Angie Peach

24 Jan

The weather seemed to settle this week, but that wasn’t from any lack of homosexual activity. Here’s the UK lesbian fiction news:

JessThere are two new authors to welcome this week, Pauline George and Anna Samuels who both hail from the south. Pauline has been writing for years but her first novel is just about to be published by Regal Crest. From the blurb, Jess is the tale of a modern day lesbian Lothario. Her sister Josie challenges her to get to know a woman before she jumps into bed with her and Jess is intrigued. How hard can that be?

sanctuaryAnna Samuels lives and works in the New Forest and her love of the south coast is inspiration for her writing. She has a number of short stories available on Amazon including A Sanctuary by the Sea. From the blurb, Annie Christopher arrives in Merryford in search of a fresh start. Annie is running from the pain of her past and needs a new home and a new job. She quickly finds work at a sea-front cafe. She is intrigued by the mysterious Alex – a quiet, intense colleague who Annie finds herself drawn to.

You can find out more about both these writers on the author page.

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tumbledownforblogTwo bits of news from our own Cari Hunter. A teaser post about her new thriller Tumbledown lists the five things you will be mistress/master of by the time you finish reading it. That cake doesn’t half look good, but perhaps, when you’re between the legs of a woman giving birth, don’t mention you picked up your delivery skills from a lesfic crime novel.

Cari is also doing a giveaway for Tumbledown. There are two paperback copies up for grabs of this exciting sequel to Desolation Point. Here’s her blog with more detail.

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WhenYouKnowAnother author being a tease is Kiki Archer. She revealed the cover of her next book this week. When You know is the follow up to her best-seller One Foot Onto The Ice. No blurb yet. I imagine she’ll be tickling our fancy with that later in the year.

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Blu at C-Spot Reviews recently posted her thoughts on LT Smith‘s Puppy Love:

“When reading, I seldom laugh out loud or cry. This story had me giggling and covering my mouth in glee, then tearing up in empathy over the very believable descriptions of Ellie’s responses to grief. Neither are overblown and the internal processing Ellie does as she works through her attraction to Emily is very well written.”

Look out for a giveaway of Puppy Love on UKLesFic coming soon…

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There’s another giveaway, this time of Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music, on Goodreads. Sadly it’s only for US readers. But if you’re over the pond head over to Goodreads before February 1st to be in with a chance of winning a copy.

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NicolaGriffithNicola Griffith is still busy with Hild. Links to latest reviews of can be found in her latest roundup. Don’t miss the great video interview with Author Magazine. She talks about being a story teller, Hild and the inspiration behind the Aud series. And it’s set in her Seattle home so you get a little peek in there too.

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playing my loveAngela Peach’s latest novel Playing My Love has been selling swiftly just about everywhere and quickly hit number 1 on the Amazon US and UK lesfic charts. She was interviewed on Smile Somebody Loves You where she talks about that novel and a whole heap of other things . They certainly didn’t hold back on the questions. What was your worst date ever? What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? What is your “guilty pleasure”?

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OrlaBroderickOrla Broderick was featured in The Sunday Times at the weekend as one of the winners of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards. If you are a subscriber you can read the whole article here which features extracts of the winners’ work.

Two paperback copies of her novel The January Flower are also up for grabs in our current giveaway (ends on the 31st). See her guest post for details.

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Some events for your diary. Leading author and poet Maureen Duffy will be heading the bill at the London Polari event on March 17th.  Book tickets ahead by visiting the Southbank Centre website. You can also find out about upcoming Polari events here.

Kerrry Hudson will also be appearing at a Spread the Word event in London on 19th February. Kerry is the author of the fabulously titled Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma which was short-listed for the Polari Prize and won the Scottish First Book Prize. Kerry will be reading for her work and answering questions. More details here.

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Finally, an affecting and personal blog from Stella Duffy.

So. I have breast cancer again.
This is rubbish, depressing, worrying and also kind of amazing

If you haven’t already read it, the inspiring piece is typically positive, forthright and gutsy. Best wishes and positive thoughts Stella for the times ahead. A lot of readers are thinking of you.

News roundup: awards, free short stories, Sarah Waters novel on the distant horizon, and love actually

15 Sep

So, in my best BBC accent, here is the news:

POLARIpinkLARGEThe short list for the Polari Prize has been announced and it has a very healthy number of women finalists. The list was announced at the latest colourful Polari event (see Jon Dolores’ blog for an account of the evening). Here’s the shortlist:

The Murder Wall – Mari Hannah
Tony Hogan Bought Me An Icecream Float Before He Stole My Ma – Kerry Hudson
The Sitar – Rebecca Idris
Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan – Mark O’Connell
The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones – Jack Wolf

You can read more about the announcement on The Bookseller. The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at November’s Polari evening.

tony hoganOne of the finalist’s, Kerry Hudson, has also just won the Scottish First Book Prize. Her book Tony Hogen Bought Me And Ice Cream Before He Stole My Ma has been described as Trainspotting on a sugar rush. From the blurb, it tells a story of a Scottish childhood of council flats and B&Bs, fags and booze and drugs, the dole queue and bread and marge sandwiches. It is also the story of an irresistible, irrepressible heroine, and a dysfunctional family you can’t help but adore.

Together with three other category winners her book goes forward to a final round of voting for the £30,000 overall prize starting at the beginning of October. There’s more information here. Good luck Kerry!

598px-Sarah_Waters

Sarah Waters (from Wikimedia Commons)

Good news for Sarah Waters fans who thought that 2009 for the Little Stranger was a very long time ago. The wait for a new novel is now finite (huzzah!)  But it is still a year away (ya, boo, sucks). The Bookseller has reported that the as yet untitled book is to be sold in autumn 2014. It is set in London, 1922, in the  tense aftermath of World War One. You can read more about it here.

Orla Broderick, author of the January Flower, has a piece on the Irish writing site http://www.writing.ie. She talks about her background as a writer and how she develops her stories, not restricted to the taught seven major plots.

Time for some freebies. Jade Winters has four short stories available on her website. The Love Letter, My Story of You, Love on the Cards and Makeover all have love as a theme from love letters from the past spanning the decades to a new job, a new boss, a new love.

And finally, Ke Payne and Nicola Griffith got married (not to each other, their partners will be glad to hear). Nicola has a sweet photo on her blog. Congratulations both!

The Polari Longlist – Everything you need to know (and more!)

14 Aug

Okay, so that header might be a bit of a fib. A couple of weeks back when I came to look at the lesbian-themed novels featured on the Polari longlist, I realised there were too many to really cover in a single news post, so I planned to do a separate post just like this to give people an idea what the books were about and who they were by.

The Polari First Book Prize is awarded to a début novel “which explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English within the twelve months of the deadline for submissions (this year Feb 1, 2013). Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission.” I think the key thing to note there is “explores the LGBT experience;” the novels I’ve picked out to feature here are not necessarily LesFic and some of the blokes on the list might well have written lesbian-themed novels, but time is short and I like an easy life – hence the copy and paste nature of this post! So, in no particular order…

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the january flowerThe January Flower by Orla Broderick (Council House Publishing)

Our narrator Mary has been cast as a Universal Mother with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is any mother struggling with domesticity, the current economic climate and self-worth. She seeks love unaware that love is already a constant force in her life. Through the beauty of her island home she learns to grow in Nature. She learns that no matter what we endure love will always remain. No matter how hard our winters may seem, the humble flower, the snowdrop will bloom in January. Love is always inside us. We just have to find it.

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Orla Broderick lives on the beautiful Isle of Skye, Scotland. She has been funded, supported and encouraged by HI-Arts. She was mentored by Roger Hutchinson (Calum’s Road, The Silent Weaver). She attended the HI-Arts writers masterclass with tutors Angus Dunn, Kevin MacNeil and Andrew Greig and an Arvon work-in-progress workshop with tutors Jane Rogers and Lesly Glaister. The January Flower was edited by Peter Urpeth (Far Inland). She is Irish, originally from Co. Donegal but was raised in Co. Wicklow. She went to an all girls Irish Catholic Boarding school, but was always in trouble with the nuns, so she learned to write as one way to escape. Orla has participated in and devised creative writing workshops. Her writing is poetic prose and is compared with the writings of Dylan Thomas. Mostly, she likes to walk by the river and dream.

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the governessThe Governess by Rachael Eyre (Self-published e-book)

An erotic thriller set in Victorian England. Miss Benson, a governess, is sent to teach Amy how to be a lady. Amy is discovering the joys of sex and suitors. Miss Benson’s unconventional methods lead to scandal, heartbreak and murder as she becomes obsessed with her young charge.

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Rachael Eyre has been mad keen on writing and fictional worlds since the age of seven- she hasn’t changed much in twenty years. Noticing there was a real gap in the market for gay and lesbian themed fantasy/sci fi/adventure fiction, she decided to fill it. She would never write something she wouldn’t want to read herself.

The Governess is her first completed novel. Her second, The Revenge of Rose Grubb, will join it on Kindle shortly. A revenge saga spanning thirty years, it takes in school bullying, faked deaths and our culture’s unhealthy obsession with celebrity. Our heroine won’t stop till she’s collected her enemy’s scalp. Rachael is currently writing her third novel, Love and Robotics. It’s her first attempt at writing a proper love story, even though the lovers are a (male) robot and an equally male raddled old explorer.

She lives in Lancaster, UK with her long suffering partner Ruth. She loves dragons but doesn’t like ferrets. At all.

Rachael doesn’t seem to have her own blog but there are a few posts over on her Goodreads author page.

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the murder wallThe Murder Wall by Mari Hannah (Pan Macmillan)

Eleven months after discovering a brutal double murder in a sleepy Northumbrian town, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the case. Then the brutal killing of a man on Newcastle’s Quayside gives Daniels another chance to get it right, and her first case as Senior Investigating Officer. When Daniels recognises the corpse, but fails to disclose the fact, her personal life swerves dangerously into her professional life. But much worse, she is now being watched. As Daniels steps closer to finding a killer, a killer is only a breath away from claiming his next victim…

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Mari Hannah was born in London and moved north as a child. Sponsored by the Home Office, she graduated from Teesside University before becoming a Probation Officer, a career cut short when she was injured while on duty. Thereafter, she spent several years working as a film/television scriptwriter. During that time she created and developed a number of projects, most notably a feature length film and the pilot episode of a crime series for television based on the characters in her book, the latter as part of a BBC drama development scheme. She lives in Northumberland with her partner, an ex-murder detective. In 2010, she won the Northern Writers’ Award.

Mari is the author of the Kate Daniels crime series: The Murder Wall (which the Guardian newspaper called “a satisfyingly meaty read”) Settled Blood, and Deadly Deceit. Her website with loads more information about the author and her books can be found here.

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tony hoganTony Hogan Bought Me An Icecream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)

When Janie Ryan is born, she’s just the latest in a long line of Ryan women, Aberdeen fishwives to the marrow, always ready to fight. Her violet-eyed Grandma had predicted she’d be sly, while blowing Benson and Hedges smoke rings over her Ma’s swollen belly. In the hospital, her family approached her suspiciously, so close she could smell whether they’d had booze or food for breakfast. It was mostly booze.

Tony Hogan tells the story of a Scottish childhood of filthy council flats and B&Bs, screeching women, feckless men, fags and booze and drugs, the dole queue and bread and marge sandwiches. It is also the story of an irresistible, irrepressible heroine, a dysfunctional family you can’t help but adore, the absurdities of the eighties and the fierce bonds that tie people together no matter what. Told in an arrestingly original — and cry-out-loud funny — voice, it launches itself headlong into the middle of one of life’s great fights, between the pull of the past and the freedom of the future. And Janie Ryan, born and bred for combat, is ready to win.

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Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Growing up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life, and a love of travel.

Her first novel, TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE-CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA was published in July 2012 and has been shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year. Kerry’s second novel, THIRST, was developed with support from the National Lottery through an Arts Council England grant and will be published by Chatto & Windus in 2014. She currently lives and writes in Hackney. Her blog can be found here. A recent review in the Observer newspaper had this to say:

It would be easy for Hudson to slip into the well-worn groove of the misery memoir made good, and there are points at which Tony Hogan threatens to lapse into cliche. However, Janie’s irrepressible, childish glee and the sly humour into which it evolves give the novel a wry self-awareness that is both refreshing and endearing.

One senses a broader purpose at work, too: the Ryan women are nothing if not fighters, and the “Ryan Temper” speaks of their frustration at the hand that life has dealt them. In this sense, Hudson’s debut, as undespairing as it is unflinching, manages to be both a personal statement of intent and also a painfully funny, humane commentary on a welfare system that blunts the blade of grinding poverty but fails to address the numbing poverty of aspiration which overwhelms so many of Janie’s contemporaries.

A further review from The Guardian can be found here.

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the sitarThe Sitar by Rebecca Idris (self-published ebook)

From the bowels of middle-class England, bona fide Brit Muslim lesbian Jaya Chakarbatti belies her mild-mannerisms and leads her group of Lassi Lesbians from their urban Midland terraced houses, to the smelly back alleys of London’s gay Soho, to seek out other Gaysians. Through the jungle of Bollywood drag queens, unrequited clumsy love, and stark choices between the Quran or The Pink Paper, the group of girls take a snap shot of modern, urban Britain amidst riots, religious tensions, and social discontent, before ending up somehow in the heat of sweaty, uncomfortably straight but shamelessly camp Bangladesh.

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Rebecca Idris is a British author living in London. She writes contemporary stories set in urban, modern England, exploring themes of postcolonial politics, emerging immigrant identities, and gay and lesbian humour. The best I can find for Rebecca in terms of a blog is her twitter feed and an interview with the Gaysian blog (the link on that page to her website is defunct.)

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If last year is anything to go by, the shortlist for the prize will be announced in September and the winner chosen in November. Which will give you all plenty of time to get reading!