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  • Published: 29 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9780670923090
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336
Categories:

The Boy with the Topknot

A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies



Hilarious and heart-rending, a fantastic reinvention of the modern British memoir - as original as Stuart: A Life Backwards and as touching as Nigel Slater's Toast

"It's 1979, I'm three years old, and like all breakfast times during my youth it begins with Mum combing my hair, a ritual for which I have to sit down on the second-hand, floral-patterned settee, and lean forward, like I'm presenting myself for execution."

For Sathnam Sanghera, growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties was a confusing business. On the one hand, these were the heady days of George Michael mix-tapes, Dallas on TV and, if he was lucky, the occasional Bounty Bar. On the other, there was his wardrobe of tartan smocks, his 30p-an-hour job at the local sewing factory and the ongoing challenge of how to tie the perfect top-knot.

And then there was his family, whose strange and often difficult behaviour he took for granted until, at the age of twenty-four, Sathnam made a discovery that changed everything he ever thought he knew about them. Equipped with breathtaking courage and a glorious sense of humour, he embarks on a journey into their extraordinary past - from his father's harsh life in rural Punjab to the steps of the Wolverhampton Tourist Office - trying to make sense of a life lived among secrets.

Published in hardback as If You Don't Know Me by Now

  • Published: 29 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9780670923090
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336
Categories:

About the author

Sathnam Sanghera

Sathnam Sanghera was born in 1976. He is an award-winning writer for The Times. His first book, TheBoy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award and the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. Marriage Material is his first novel, and has been shortlisted for the 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature and the 2013 Costa First Novel Award.

Also by Sathnam Sanghera

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Praise for The Boy with the Topknot

About real secrets, in a real quest for understanding. It's tragic, funny and disturbing. It will challenge you, and may even change you

Carole Angier, Independent

Could not be more enjoyable, engaging or moving

Observer

Could not be more enjoyable, engaging or moving

Observer

Fans of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe will love this book

Psychologies

Fans of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe will love this book

Psychologies

Funny and revealing

Sunday Times

Funny and revealing

Sunday Times

Funny, heartfelt

Marie Claire

Funny, heartfelt

Marie Claire

'Gripping and entertaining, horrifying and tender ... Exposes all those things we take for granted as we grow up

Hardeep Singh Kohli, The Times

'Gripping and entertaining, horrifying and tender ... Exposes all those things we take for granted as we grow up

Hardeep Singh Kohli, The Times

Gripping, tender ... recalls A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Time Out

Gripping, tender ... recalls A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Time Out

Harrowing and impossible to put down

Evening Standard

Harrowing and impossible to put down

Evening Standard

Hilarious, engaging, tragicomic

Meg Rosoff, Guardian

Hugely enjoyable

New Statesman

Hugely enjoyable

New Statesman

I absolutely loved it. Heartbreaking and wonderful. He writes beautifully

Maggie O'Farrell

Intimate and funny

Metro

Intimate and funny

Metro

Marvellous. A book which manages to be colourful, funny, heart-breaking and shocking ... there's a dry wit and unexpectedness about this tale that kept me on my toes throughout

Irish Examiner

Marvellous. A book which manages to be colourful, funny, heart-breaking and shocking ... there's a dry wit and unexpectedness about this tale that kept me on my toes throughout

Irish Examiner

Moving

The London Paper

Moving

Sunday Times

Moving

The London Paper

Moving

Sunday Times

The most moving debut we've read in ages

Elle

The most moving debut we've read in ages

Elle

Told with enormous compassion and dry wit. The climax had me on the edge of my seat

Jonathan Coe

Told with enormous compassion and dry wit. The climax had me on the edge of my seat

Jonathan Coe

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