Press

Morning Star’s Book of the Year 2016

21st January 2018 Reviews

From the Morning Star. My book of the year is The Handsworth Times (Bluemoose), Sharon Duggal’s account of life in early-80s working- class Birmingham, which is defined by greater and lesser griefs. Mukesh Agarwal’s son Billy is knocked down and killed by a hurrying ambulance and, as he slips into even greater alcoholic incoherence and joblessness, the other family members move to different points of the grieving compass. Their son Kavi becomes totally nihilistic. Nina the eldest daughter escapes toRead More

Women Reads Books

21st January 2018 Reviews

From Women Reads Books. Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike…A mile away, at home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hit her family. It is 1981 and Handsworth is teeteringRead More

Amazon

21st January 2018 Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk. “The Handsworth Times” is an outstanding work in every aspect. It conveys a visceral sense both of time & place with a prose style that manages to be both clear & detailed, & also stylish & unostentatiously poetic. But for all its literary qualities, the book is also gifted with fiction’s first requirements, a rattling good yarn & an engaging cast of characters, & these are again managed with consummate & effortless skill. What Jane Austen does withRead More

The Asian Writer

21st January 2018 Other

From The Asian Writer. Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your writing journey? Like most writers I have always written in one way or another but as a working parent with three children it was never going to be easy to make it a priority, at least not until the kids were a bit older.   When I was on maternity leave with my youngest child and my twin boys started school I did an onlineRead More

Riotous story of the power and potential of working-class solidarity

21st January 2018 Reviews

A review by the Morning Star. THIS novel by Sharon Duggal of life in early-1980s working-class Birmingham during the time of inner-city rioting is defined by the greater and lesser griefs of the Agarwal family. Through their voices, the wonderful cussedness of a people and a community that will not be destroyed either by itself or by others speaks loud and clear. The tone of loss is set early on, with father Mukesh Agarwal supping in a pub as theRead More

Brew and Books Blog

21st January 2018 Reviews

From Brew and Books Blog. About – The Handsworth Times Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike …A mile away in the family home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hitRead More

The Morning Star Interview

21st January 2018 Other

From The Morning Star. SHARON DUGGAL tells Farhana Shaikh what impelled her to write her first novel, set during the 1981 Handsworth riots The Handsworth Times is your first novel. How did you go about writing it? I’d like to say I have a routine and a set process for writing but it would be a big fib. I am quite unorganised and a bit sporadic as a writer but I do always carry a notebook, jot down ideas asRead More

Poets Pages

21st January 2018 Other

From Poets Pages.

My Journey as a Writer – Spread The Word

21st January 2018 Other

From Spread The Word. It’s not easy trying to fit in writing when our lives are taken up with other things but, if the urge is strong, it will find a way through whoever you are and whatever your circumstances. This was certainly my experience. I have always written – from scribbled secret poems in teenage notebooks to completing an MPhil in Creative Writing at Sussex University in 2014. Now, in the autumn of 2016, my debut novel, The Handsworth Times has been publishedRead More

Mslexia Magazine Issue 72 interview

21st January 2018 Other

From Mslexia Magazine Issue 72. Twice Sharon Duggal has thought: ‘It’s now or never’. And twice she has acted on it. Each time it has paid off and impelled the author to write: first, ten years ago, a short story shortlisted for the Penguin Decibel Prize; and this year with her début novel The Handsworth Times, which has just been published to rave reviews.Set in 1981, the novel revolves around Mukesh Agarwal and his family in the Birmingham suburb ofRead More