We're delighted to have Michael Donkor coming to review in July to read from and discuss his debut novel, Hold.
‘An arresting and textured novel … He has a gift for succinct, piercing description’ Observer
‘Moving and funny, a big-hearted book that will stay with you’ Guardian, Best Fiction for 2018
knows how to follow the rules. As a housegirl, she has learnt the right way to polish water glasses, to wash and fold a hundred handkerchiefs, and to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi.
Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven-years old and irrepressible, the young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.
Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive South-London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now. Watching their once-confident teenager grow sullen and wayward, they decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example Amma needs.
So Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London, and must leave Mary to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship. She encounters a city as bewildering as it is thrilling, and tries to impose order on her unsettling new world.
As the Brixton summer turns to Autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tightly threaten to seep out.
Michael Donkor was born in London, to Ghanaian parents. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, undertook a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway and now teaches English Literature to secondary school students.
Many of the issues in his debut novel Hold are close to his heart, and his writing won him a place on the Writers’ Centre Norwich Inspires Scheme in 2014, where he received a year’s mentoring from Daniel Hahn.
As always tickets cost £5 which includes a glass of wine and £4 off purchases made on the night.