Belonging: Anita Sethi & Ingrid Persaud

Sethi Persaud

Exploring themes of dislocation, loss and race with two outstanding writers

In Anita Sethi’s memoir I Belong Here she describes how an incident of racist abuse caused her to take a healing walk across the Pennines. In Ingrid Persaud’s Costa Book Award-winning novel Love After Love a young Trinidadian has to escape to New York, where he becomes an illegal immigrant. Both books bravely explore themes of dislocation, loss and race. Anita and Ingrid will be in conversation with Claire Armitstead, Head of Books at The Guardian.

“Nature’s beauty and wilderness provide a welcome escape from Sethi’s city life and kickstart a healing process as she becomes enveloped in the great outdoors, taking us on an emotional journey at the same time. It’s an amazing odyssey: inspiring, powerful, encouraging and incredibly brave.

the independent

Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi was born in Manchester where her love of nature first flourished in childhood, in wild urban spaces. I Belong Here is the first in her nature writing trilogy. She has contributed to anthologies including Seasons, Common People, and Women on Nature, has written for the Guardian, Observer, i, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Vogue, BBC Wildlife, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement, and appeared on various BBC Radio programmes. She has been shortlisted for Northern Writer of the Year at the Northern Soul Awards and Journalist of the Year at the Asian Media Awards, and has judged the British Book Awards and Society of Authors Awards. She has lived around the world including being an International Writer in Residence in Melbourne. Her career highlights include going birdwatching with Margaret Atwood in the UK’s oldest nature reserve.

Ingrid Persaud

Ingrid Persaud was born in Trinidad. Her debut novel, Love After Love, won the Costa First Novel Award 2020. She also won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2018 and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017. She read law at the LSE and was an academic before studying fine art at Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins. Her writing has appeared in several newspapers and magazines including Granta, Prospect, Five Dials, the Guardian and National Geographic.