If You Don't Know Me by Now

by Sathnam Sanghera

Biography / Autobiography

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Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2008.

Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "Quietly witty, engrossing and tragicomic - this insight into parallel culture in Britain today is the poignant story of an exceptional family that everyone should read."

If You Don't Know Me by Now Synopsis

'Mum is never more anxious than at a celebration, hovering around us with red chillies to frighten away evil spirits. I hate that I’ve inherited this attitude: sometimes I can feel the end of good things before I’ve even had a chance to enjoy them. But finally I understand why my mother was so fond of the phrase: that’s how life was for her. For years, for every one shot of happy, there would be two shots of sad.'

When Sathnam Sanghera was twenty-four years old he made a discovery about his family that would both darken, and illuminate his life. It would set him on a journey into his family’s past: from his father’s harsh life in rural Punjab, to the terrifying early years of his parents’ marriage in England; from his mother’s extraordinary resilience as she brought up her young family in a foreign land, without any knowledge of its language, to the author’s happy memories of his own childhood – his obsessions with George Michael and a desire to have the perfect top knot. And, most affectingly of all, this discovery would finally force Sanghera’s own secret life into the glaring light: his longing for romantic love which he had, for fear of family rejection, kept utterly hidden from his beloved mother.

From Hindu hairdressers to the Wolverhampton tourist office, from terrifying violence to boundless family loyalty, If You Don’t Know Me by Now is a heart-rending account of one family’s unimaginable suffering and also its great capacity for love. In a voice that is by turns tender and wonderfully funny, Sathnam Sanghera tells a story of the seemingly unbridgeable, and often harrowing, gulf between classes, cultures and generations and also provides a moving testament to the surprising power of unconditional love.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780670916702
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Publisher: Viking
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780670916702
Publication date: 6th March 2008
Author: Sathnam Sanghera
Publisher: Viking
Format: Hardback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography,

About Sathnam Sanghera

Sathnam Sanghera was born in 1976. He is an award-winning journalist who, until recently, was chief feature writer at The Financial Times. He now works for The Times and lives in London. This is his first book.

More About Sathnam Sanghera

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