Award winning author Sathnam Sanghera is delighted to see his home city of Wolverhampton hosting its first ever literature festival.

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The former Wolverhampton Grammar School student has gone on to become an acclaimed author and journalist.

He was thrilled when festival organisers contacted him about taking part in the Express & Star Wolverhampton Original Literature Festival (WOLF), which takes place from Friday 27 January to Sunday 29.

Sanghera, of The Times, said: "So many towns and cities hold literature festivals and I am frequently asked by many to take part. It was always a pet subject of mine that Wolverhampton never had one, so when I was told about it I jumped at the chance to take part.

"I have been arguing for some time that the city needs to celebrate its cultural life more. Things are improving in and around Wolverhampton and the festival is part of that."

Sanghera, who is based in London, says he comes back to his hometown regularly and sees the changes taking place.

When he returns next it will be to take part in the literature festival, which boasts more than 70 events, talks, and workshops.

He is appearing at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday 28 January, at 3pm, and during his talk he will be revisiting his first book 'The Boy With the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton'.

The book is currently being adapted for TV to air on the BBC. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year.

He said: "It is a strange feeling coming back to something I wrote some time ago. It is very much a young man's book and was for me a personal project which all worked out in the end - and I can now celebrate the fact that things worked out."

Sanghera's second novel 'Marriage Material' was shortlisted for a 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award and a 2013 Costa Book Award, was long listed for the 2014 Desmond Elliot Prize, and picked by The Sunday Times, The Observer and Metro as one of the novels of 2013, cited as one of the Guardian Readers' Books of the Year in 2014, and is being developed as a multi part TV drama by Kudos.

The 40 year old, who was brought up in Park Village, has also won numerous prizes for his journalism, including the accolade of Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2002, Article of the Year in the 2005 Management Today Writing Awards, Newspaper Feature of the Year in the 2005 Workworld Media Awards, HR Journalist of the Year in the 2006 and 2009 Watson Wyatt Awards for Excellence, and Media Commentator of the Year in the 2015 Comment Awards.

He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for services to journalism by The University of Wolverhampton in September 2009, and a President's Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2010. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature, while writer Jonathan Coe named him one of 'The Men of Next 25 years' in GQ magazine in 2013, saying that "whether he's writing autobiography or fiction, Sathnam is busy carving out his own literary niche - in the multicultural British Midlands - which he explores with incredible grace, generosity and humour."

Sanghera joined The Times as a columnist and feature writer in 2007 and has presented a number of radio documentaries for the BBC.

For ticket details on Sanghera's event and information on all the other literature festival events visit Type=links;Linkid=8045;Title=Wolverhampton Literature Festival;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 25 January, 2017