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By Mahsuda, Jun 11 2018 08:07PM

I often get asked at author events if my novel is auto-biographical. The story is centred around a British-Bangladeshi girl growing up on a council estate in Leicester, so I say ‘no, not autobiographical at all’. And for a long time I didn’t really think it was. I write to escape, to put myself in other people’s shoes, to revel in the fun of making stuff up. But recently when I was asked at an event if I, like the central character of 'The Things We Thought We Knew', have ever suffered from a condition like chronic pain I realised that, in my early 20’s, I had suffered with a mysterious condition that left me drained of all energy, in physical pain and isolated in my mother’s council estate house.


So no, not autobiographical at all.


I’ve written about this in more detail on The Mighty website, a fantastic online community that shares the stories of people living with disability, disease and mental illness. Find the article below and a link to the general website which is jam packed full of interesting and life affirming articles...


https://themighty.com/2018/06/achalasia-inspired-writing/


https://themighty.com/





By Mahsuda, Mar 5 2018 09:19PM

As part of International Women's Day (March 8th) and for the Penguin #LikeAWoman celebrations I was asked to write a piece about women who have inspired me. The more I thought about it the more I realised that the women who have inspired and, what's more, have CHANGED me are rebellious, fearless women who don't care one iota about societal norms. I'm going to keep on trying to be a bit more like them every day. It might be a slow rebellion, but it will be a rebellion nonetheless!


Find the link to my piece below...


https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/features/2018/mar/mahsuda-snaith-lessons-from-rebellious-women/

By Mahsuda, Jun 14 2017 09:32AM

Last night was the official launch of 'The Things We Thought We Knew' in my home town of Leicester and in the Waterstones I worked in over 15 years ago. Surreal is just one word to sum up the night. Surreal to be back in the same store I fantasised about being a writer in, surreal to have all the people I love in one room and surreal to be signing copies of my published novel for them.


As a writer, you quietly tap away at your keyboard, hoping one day all the words you've carefully strung together will be good enough to entertain and enthral readers in the future. You become attached to each character, knowing their habits and innermost thoughts. You plan their futures and fear for them as though they are real, solid people who live around the corner from you. Then you come to the time when you have to let them go. They stop being yours and become others. It's a scary but wonderful time and that time has now come. I hereby release 'The Things We Thought We Knew' into the world! I hope people will enjoy reading the book as much as I loved writing it and cherish those characters as though they are friends. I hope too that other writers will see that dreams can come true. You don't need lots of money and connections to be a writer but what you do need is determination and passion for writing that you can't quit. If the Asian dyslexic girl from the council estate can do it, so can you.


Thanks to everyone who could come to last night's launch (and Farhana Shaikh for the above photograph) as well as my agent James Wills, editor Lizzy and publicist Tom who made the trip up to see the novel off. Now for publication day which is tomorrow (eek!). Let the surreal days continue.

books

Winner of the Bristol Short Story Prize,

the SI Leeds Prize and author of

'The Things We Thought We Knew'

mahsuda snaith...