New voices: Natasha Brown & Gurnaik Johal

Two young writers discuss their highly original debut fiction

The festival brings together two of the most exciting new voices in literary fiction.  Natasha’s first novel Assembly has already been short-listed for several prizes.  Its narrator, a young Black British woman, is considering the ways in which she tries to assemble herself.  Is it time to take it all apart?  The short stories in Gurnaik Johal’s first collection We Move paint a kaleidoscopic portrait of present-day Southall and of the history and lives that intersect there.  Natasha and Gurnaik will be in conversation with Claire Armitstead, Associate Editor of Culture at the Guardian.

I’m full of the hope, on reading it, that this is the kind of book that doesn’t just mark the moment things change, but also makes that change possible.”

Ali Smith

Natasha Brown

Natasha Brown is a British novelist. She was a 2019 London Writers Award recipient, a 2022 Burgess Fellow at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, and a Women’s Prize x Good Housekeeping Futures Award finalist. Her debut novel Assembly was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Orwell Prize for Fiction.

Gurnaik Johal

Gurnaik Johal is a writer from West London. He was shortlisted for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize in 2018 and graduated from The University of Manchester in 2019. He works in children’s publishing.