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Two Outstanding Authors

Portrait photograph of author Nadifa Mohamed

Orhard of Lost Souls
by Nadifa Mohamed

The Author

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa in 1981 while Somalia was falling deeper into dictatorship. In 1986 she travelled to London with her family in what she thought was a temporary move, but became permanent as war broke out in Somalia. She was educated in London and went to Oxford to study History and Politics. She finally returned to Hargeisa, now in the new Republic of Somaliland, in 2008. She lives in London and is currently working on her third novel.

Praise for Nadifa Mohamed

'As the narrative gathers incremental power, the novel shows its author blossoming into her talent with her own innovative at times pulse-quickening style, distilling startling language from loss.'
The Observer

'There is a dramatic tension and narrative pull; by the end, you feel educated- and grateful for that.'
Sunday Times

The Plot

It is 1988 and Hargeisa waits. Whispers of revolution travel on the dry winds but still the dictatorship remains secure. Soon, and through the eyes of three women, we will see Somalia fall. Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, lured to the city by the promise of her first pair of shoes. Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station. Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion growing in the north. And as the country is unraveled by a civil war that will shock the world, the fates of the three women are twisted irrevocably together. Intimate, frank, brimming with beauty and fierce love, The Orchard of Lost Souls is an unforgettable account of ordinary lives lived in extraordinary times.

Portrait photograph of author Stephen May

Life! Death! Prizes!
by Stephen May

The Author

Stephen May is a novelist, playwright and TV writer. His first novel TAG won the Media Wales Readers' Prize. Life! Death! Prizes!, his second novel was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2012 and was also published in the USA, Australia and Germany.

Stephen wrote the best-selling Teach Yourself Creative Writing and his plays Back, The World and Still Waiting for Everything have toured nationally. He is currently working on new plays and TV projects. Stephen May was brought up in Bedford and now lives in West Yorkshire.

Praise for Stephen May

'Stephen May's voice is original, funny and poignant as he marries sharp imagery with the brothers' beautifully realised relationship. Unmissable.'
Marie Claire

The Plot

Billy's mother is dead. He knows - because he reads about it in magazines - that people die every day in ways that are more random and tragic than hers, but for nineteen-year-old Billy and little brother, Oscar, their mother's death in a bungled street robbery is the most random and tragic thing that could possibly have happened to them. Now Billy must be both mother and father to Oscar, and despite what his well-meaning aunt, the PTA mothers, social services, and Oscar's own prodigal father all think, he feels certain that he is the one for the job.

The boys' new world - where bedtimes are arbitrary and healthy home-cooked meals pile up uneaten in the freezer - is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it's also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. As Billy's obsession with his mother's missing killer grows, he risks losing sight of the one thing that really matters: the only family he has left.

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