Novelist Preti Taneja’s second work, Aftermath, is a fragmented, aching, yet ultimately hopeful account of the immediate consequences of catastrophe. Following a fatal attack at a celebration for a prison education program in London which left a colleague of Taneja’s dead, the work details both the intimate experience of loss and a public reckoning with a fractured social structure. Touching upon violence, power, and poetry, the work considers the culture of trauma narratives and the limits of language in contending with disaster. Blending first, second, and third person, Taneja ultimately arrives at writing as a means of reconciling the personal with the shared.
About the speaker:
Preti Taneja is a British Asian writer and activist, and Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, UK. Her first book, We That Are Young (2017), won the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for the year’s best literary debut novel. Aftermath (2021) was a 2022 New Yorker best book of the year and a New Statesman book of the year. It won the Gordon Burn Prize for literature that is fearless in ambition and execution.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Taneja will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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