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The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton #2020

The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton By Sathnam Sanghera The Boy with the Topknot A Memoir of Love Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton NOW A BBC DRAMA The Boy with the Topknot A Memoir of Love Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton is a hilarious and heart rending reinvention of the modern British memoir It s I m three years old a
  • Title: The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton
  • Author: Sathnam Sanghera
  • ISBN: 9780141028590
  • Page: 217
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton By Sathnam Sanghera NOW A BBC DRAMA The Boy with the Topknot A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton is a hilarious and heart rending reinvention of the modern British memoir 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 fNOW A BBC DRAMA The Boy with the Topknot A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton is a hilarious and heart rending reinvention of the modern British memoir 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.
    The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton By Sathnam Sanghera
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      Posted by:Sathnam Sanghera
      Published :2019-08-02T09:09:35+00:00

    About "Sathnam Sanghera"

    1. Sathnam Sanghera

      Sathnam Sanghera was born to Punjabi parents in the West Midlands in 1976, attended Wolverhampton Grammar School and graduated from Christ s College, Cambridge with a first class degree in English Language and Literature in 1998 Before becoming a writer he among other things worked at a burger chain, a hospital laundry, a market research firm, a sewing factory and a literacy project in New York.Between 1998 and 2006 he was at The Financial Times, where he worked variously as a news reporter in the UK and the US, specialised in writing about the media industries, worked across the paper as Chief Feature Writer, and wrote an award winning weekly business column Sathnam joined The Times as a columnist and feature writer in 2007, reviews cars for Management Today and has presented a number of radio documentaries for the BBC.Sathnam s first book, The Boy With The Topknot A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year His novel, Marriage Material, has been shortlisted for a 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award and a 2013 Costa Book Award, been longlisted for the 2014 Desmond Elliot Prize, picked by The Sunday Times, The Observer and Metro as one of the novels of 2013, and is being developed as a multi part TV drama by Kudos.He has won numerous prizes for his journalism, including 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 the accolade of Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2002.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, while GQ Magazine named him as one of The Men of Next 25 years in 2013, with writer Jonathan Coe 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.The Boy With The Topknot, was originally published by Penguin in hardback as If You Don t Know Me By Now He is trustee and board chair for Creative Access, a charity which helps find internships in the creative industries for talented young people from under represented backgrounds He lives in London.

    652 Comments

    1. A mixed bag book of a book The first few chapters were so self indulgent and trite that I would have stopped reading if it hadn t been highly recommended by my sister Anyway I stuck it through to the end and realized there are three books here which evoked very different reactions.The first is Sanghera s personal misery memoir The whole source of his misery seems to be his perceived misfortune in being born a brown sikh working class lad from Wolverhampton rather rather than white Church of Engl [...]


    2. I had expected this memoir to be focused entirely on Sanghera s experiences in reconciling his life in London with the culture and traditional values that he had grown up with and which are still held by his parents and extended family His account of he and his siblings having to conceal their pop music and other Western items reminded me of Lane Kim from The Gil Girls Certainly it was a moving, often funny account of his growing up in the 1980s.However, the major theme of a family coping with s [...]


    3. Satnam Sanghera has risen from the boy with no English in ordinary Wolverhampton school to a respected journalist on a national paper Yet who of his school mates would know that each day he was going home to a family plagued by mental illness This memoir must have taken a lot of courage to write not only on Satnam s part but on the part of the family who gave him permission to write Others have said, and I agree that it was unputdownable and certainly had me glued to the page, but unusually for [...]


    4. Overall I enjoyed this book I am also a 1st generation Brit with parents from Punjab I identified with all the anguish, awkwardness and cultural clashes Satnam endured He writes well and is very entertaining resulting in some laugh out louds late at night.However I found it did not address or really go beyond just touching on the inherent sexism and misogyny in Punjabi culture He does mention the differences between how his life has worked out and how his eldest sister s has worked out but the d [...]


    5. A mixed bag of a book This had the potential to be excellent but didn t come up to the mark because of the author s self idulgent writing way too much about him and his middle class aspirations and not enough analysis of the interesting situations he also covers I d not heard of Sanghera and must admit to being quite surprised that he is a journalist as the style and set up of this work don t reflect this I found it muddled and varied in tone as if this was several different works badly put toge [...]


    6. My review comes 2 years too late but here we go anyways.I was apparently discussing this title with a friend and slammed her recommendation we are both Sikhs and non practicing 6 12 months later bump into some random well to do couple whilst on holiday in Kerala On learning I was both Indian and of Sikh heritage, again I was told I must read it by the Lady Again I advise I could have written the book, Im not a writer clearly but I could not fathom why anyone would want to read a book that mirror [...]


    7. I found The Boy with the Topknot engrossing as a depiction of a family and an individual s experience of growing up in a Punjabi community in Wolverhampton in the 1980s It left me thinking about how important talking openly is, but also how everybody has to process events or thoughts in their own way and their own time I learnt a lot about schizophrenia mainly how little I knew about it The author could grate at times, but I didn t mind this he was self aware, and his foibles made his story aut [...]


    8. Superb A revealing and inspiring insight into how unconditional love can dismantle otherwise insurmountable barriers of culture, religion, language, mental illness and poverty The wit, honesty and courage with which Sathnam approaches the intensely complex and personal themes of this book make it extraordinarily involving and rewarding to read The conclusion is wonderful and defies any attempt to label this book as a misery memoir it is anything but Highly recommended.


    9. I think one of the main reasons I read is to be informed, not by reading dry non fiction books, but by reading fiction Most of the books I have loved are set in different places or different times However, Sanghera s book is non fiction, but has the pace and grip of a novel I found myself rooting for him as I would any other character and am in awe of his ability to write this way as well as his courage to be so honest A thoroughly enjoyable, and informative, read.


    10. An interesting at times insight into the life of the 1960s Indian immigrants into Britain.However, the two star rating is mainly because I couldn t warm to the authors character


    11. Know where you come frombut don t let it stop you from becoming who you want to be So many reviewers have provided a synopsis therefore I will refrain from doing the same I will just share some thoughts Sathnam laid taboo subjects on the table with an eloquence donned through years of a first rate education funded by the same culture his loving mother and so many like her shunned it was an irony not lost on him Well, I suppose those many pounds in tax were well spent if he continues to use his g [...]


    12. This is a beautifully written book about a very difficult subject How many of us could sit and write about discovering that not one but two members of our family have a devastating mental illness I m not sure I could What Sathnam Sanghera shows throughout this book is a world that is full of contradictions and conflicts For instance, the conflict between the Sikh upbringing that his mother is keen to bestow on him and the British influences that slip through the cracks The conflicts between the [...]


    13. A surprisingly interesting storyI anticipated this would be a fairly light review of the experiences of a Sikh boy growing up in Wolverhampton It is actually an insightful examination of the impact of mental illness in families The book contains warmth, humour, tragedy, social comment and I enjoyed it much than I expected and admire the author and his family for the frankness of his descriptions of painful events.


    14. An enjoyable read, agree with other reviewers that at times the style could interrupt the flow of the book however overall I was left with a sense that I d read a wonderful love story to the author s family especially his Mum that gave me a deeper appreciation of mental illness and the immigrant story That is a hard thing to convey in one book, so well done look forward to watching the series We definitely need stories like this out there.


    15. Very interesting, both about the author s growing up and about his own attempt to reconcile his adult life, following a path outside what might have been expected and, with his own and his family s long held expectations It left many questions and I would like to have known about his experiences assimilating at university and life since the book tricky ask I realise


    16. Stupidly, I had always thought most families to be basically the same As I get older I realise this is not the case I had no real understanding of what it was like to be a Sikh or to live with schizophrenia.At times this book is very funny at times very moving.


    17. It was interesting to read what it is like to be born brought up in an Asian family but wanting to integrate and feel at home in a Western culture Sathnam Sanghera was is being torn both ways I did not find it a happy red but one I learnt quite a lot from.


    18. This was an honest, amusing, sometimes heartbreaking story of one man s journey of understanding It covers family and religion, and how this can impact on mental illness It is also interesting to read the experiences of immigrants from India in the 60s and 70s, and how integration was for them I recommend this to anyone, especially those dating a Sikh male you may learn something about his mother


    19. A look at the idea of memoir in oral cultures, Sikh family life in the UK, and mental health It took a while to warm up but I liked the style and the story.


    20. Loved the subject and the range of emotions of the author clearly came through Only criticism is that the writing was a bit clunky or trite for me occasionally.



    21. AwesomeJust finished 12hr night shift but had to read the last four chapters.So glad everything turned out well for both author and his mum hope the series is as good as the book


    22. I loved this book I particularly was struck by the concept of amnesia in families.Oh I still have to write 7 words



    23. This book was next up for my World Book Night reading challenge and if I m being perfectly honest it was one of a couple I was least looking forward too I mean, a young Sikh boy growing up in eighties Wolverhampton, how was this going to interest me but I couldn t have been wrong I thoroughly enjoyed it Another case of never judge a book by its cover In a nutshell the story is about a man who wants to tell his mother that he wants to live his own life and marry who he chooses and loves and not [...]


    24. Just short of absolutely excellent Sanghera s heart rending analysis of his own and his family s experiences as Punjabis of Wolverhampton The intricacies of anguished family life the intrusions, the expectations, the severe limitations are painfully illuminated They stand as a dramatic contrast to the angst of, say, irritations of suburban England, or public school traumas, narratives familiar to us Then there is the added drama of investigating the secrets or unspoken truths of this particular [...]


    25. I really wish I hadn t read this family melodrama set in the Punjabi Sikh community of Wolverhampton in the last quarter of the 20th century, relating the lonely quest of Sanghera to make sense of his father s severe mental illness its malign influence on his wider family on his own personal private development I had,until now, a generally benign view of the ethnic Sikh Punjabi immigrants into Britain since the 1960s,feeling them to be a generally peaceful, civilised decent tolerant,with much to [...]


    26. This book was a real surprise, which I had on my to read list for a long time thinking it would be an interesting story about growing up and coping with coming from a non white, non English background in the post 60s era This very entertaining, well written and extremely moving book is all that, but much, much and resonates with me on so many levels, being a gori myself albeit married for nearly 30 years to a good boy from Iranian Muslim family rather than from a Sikh Indian family A big part o [...]


    27. I ve enjoyed reading The Boy with the Topknot very much I m nearly 30 years older than the author but there are a lot of links between his life as a child in Wolverhampton in the English Midlands, and the one I left myself in the same town many years before I knew Park Village and indeed Prosser Street, where he lived, very well, as my mother used to visit an old lady there, dragging me along Like Sathnam I was a working class kid who was the first or second from our estate to get to Wolverhampt [...]


    28. The author who is Sikh writes movingly about growing up in Wolverhampton There is humour mixed in with incredible poverty, mental illness and his mother trying to keep the family together.


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