Ghosts & Spirits: Louisa Young & Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

Two haunting new novels explore the mesmerising and mythic

In Louisa Young’s novel Twelve Months and a Day Rasmus loses Jay and Roisin loses Nico.  But have they really?  And what does the apparent loss of their lovers mean for the future?  In Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s first novel When We Were Birds Darwin is looking for his dead father on the streets of a Trinidadian town, and Yejide is learning from her dying mother how to commune with spirits.  Louisa and Ayanna will be discussing their magical new novels with journalist Georgina Godwin..

“Louisa Young is the great chronicler of romantic love and the pain of its loss.”

linda grant, twelve months and a day

“A searing symphony of magic and loss, love and hope… This book just might heal you.”

Marlon James – when we were birds

Louisa Young

Louisa Young was born in London and read history at Cambridge. She co-wrote the Lionboy series with her daughter, and is the author of eight further books including the bestselling My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award, and was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice, and its acclaimed sequels The Heroes’ Welcome and Devotion. Her work is published in 36 languages. She lives in London.

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo is a writer from Trinidad & Tobago. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she is now a Creative and Critical Writing PhD candidate. Her work has been published in Moko MagazineSmall Axe and PREE, among others, and shortlisted for Small Axe Literary Competition and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. When We Were Birds is her first novel; she is now working on her second which will be published by Hamish Hamilton in 2025. Ayanna lives with her husband in London.