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Book of the Month

A reason to read...

Filled with irresistible dialogue and mesmeric storytelling, this stunning debut collection of short fiction paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of contemporary Southall and the people and history that cross paths there.

We Move - Gurnaik Johal

'Moving, truthful, straight from the heart' Neel Mukherjee'These are excellent stories, told with skill and verve. Gurnaik Johal has a sharp eye for details, an ear for the gaps and evasions in real dialogue, and a heart for the hopes and regrets that carry us through our lives. But most of all, he has the instincts of a storyteller, and in We Move he has put those instincts to great effect' Jon McGregorHere, beneath the planes circling Heathrow, various lives connect.

Priti speaks English and her nani Punjabi. Without Priti's mum around they struggle to make a shared language. Not far away, Chetan and Aanshi's relationship shifts when a woman leaves her car in their drive but never returns to collect it.

Gujan's baba steps out of his flat above the chicken shop for the first time in years to take his grandson on a bicycle tour of the old and changed neighbourhood. And returning home after dropping out of university, Lata grapples with a secret about her estranged family friend, now a chart-topping rapper in a crisis of confidence. Mapping an area of West London, these stories chart a wider narrative about the movement of multiple generations of immigrants.

In acts of startling imagination, Gurnaik Johal's debut brings together the past and the present, the local and the global, to show the surprising ways we come together.



Meet the Author

Gurnaik Johal

Gurnaik Johal is a writer from West London. He was shortlisted for The Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize in 2018 and graduated from The University of Manchester in 2019. Arrival, the first story in his debut collection, won the 2022 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. He works in children’s publishing and is writing a novel about the ancient Saraswati River. 

Gurnaik’s iconic London debut, We Move will be published by Serpent’s Tail in April 2022.