Author Deepa Anappara will be interviewed by journalist Sarah Shaffi (who writes for The Sytlist).
“A brilliant debut” Ian McEwan
Indian treats will be served. A little more about the author – Deepa was born in Kerala, and has lived in several parts of India including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi where she worked as a journalist for 11 years. Deepa’s news reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won a number of prestigious awards for her journalism. Deepa had always wanted to be a writer but when the hadn’t felt the need to write fiction until she moved to the UK in 2008. She enrolled on the prestigious MA Creative Writing course at UEA, where Djinn Patrol was first born. A partial of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, and the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel.
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line introduces us to a world seen through the eyes of nine year old Jai, who lives on the outskirts of a sprawling Indian city in a teeming basti, the kingdom of our cheeky narrator and his friends Pari and Faiz. When one of their classmates goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills that he’s learned from his beloved TV detective shows to uncover what really happened. Jai and his friends lead us through the rattle-tattle energy of the basti, experiencing the mouth-watering smells and vibrant colours of this captivating world on their journey. This is a portrayal of unflinching reality that allows for the fierce warmth of family life, that shows how a community can be forged in times of trouble, and of course how the bold and loveable Jai and his friends seek out the truth no matter what.
Deepa came to write this novel after being drawn to the stories of young children going missing from the Indian slums. It’s estimated that as many as 180 children going missing every day in India, which remains a huge national issue and one very close to Deepa’s heart. The novel was born out of Deepa’s anger at a system continues to fail some of the most vulnerable people in society – she wanted to give a voice to the children and families directly involved in these tragedies, removing the focus from the authorities and sensationalised news stories. Deepa was particularly inspired by the cheeky, intelligent children she met while working as a journalist reporting on education and policy in India, and it was from these kids that the voice of our narrator Jai sprung.