This year’s City Read: Sharon Duggal on her debut novel

21st January 2018 Other

From Sussex Life. Brighton-based Sharon Duggal’s debut novel The Handsworth Times tells of the disaffection, violence and unemployment behind the 1981 riots. It is this year’s City Read, and has been called “a book for our times”. Jenny Mark-Bell finds out why. This year’s City Read is a debut novel from a Brighton-based author. In some ways, its 1981 setting depicts another country: one where the National Front marches unabashed, unemployment is high and riots cleave inner-city communities. But thereRead More

City Reads novel promotes community amid riots and racism

21st January 2018 Other

From The Argus. THIS cultural year in Brighton is shaping up to be quite the antidote – or mode of resistance – to the current social and ideological schisms playing out in the UK and abroad. Kate Tempest, Brighton Festival guest director, has already emphasised the important of empathy and community in the soon-to-be-announced schedule of events. Late last year she spoke to The Argus about her belief in the arts of a means of bringing people together. “You read a novelRead More

Duggal’s debut novel to be championed by City Reads

21st January 2018 Other

From The Bookseller. A debut novel from British Asian writer Sharon Duggal will be championed by City Reads 2017 in the Brighton and Hove area. The “relevant and important” novel, The Handsworth Times (Bluemoose Books), is set in 1981 and tells the story of the Agarwal family set against the backdrop of “Thatcher’s fractured Britain”. City Reads 2017 will launch on World Book Day (2nd March) and will feature a wide range of events themed around The Handsworth Times aimed to encourage residents acrossRead 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

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

The Birmingham launch of The Handsworth Times

21st January 2018 Other

A  short video of the event, made by Shuut.co.uk.

Brum Radio Books

20th January 2018 Other

Award-winning writer, Catherine O’Flynn reviews The Handsworth Times plus interview with Sharon at the end of the show.


  • Should We Fall Behind
    Should We Fall Behind
  • The Handsworth Times
    The Handsworth Times