MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee’s play “Finding José” in Tamasha’s scratch night, London, 25th May 2018

MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee’s play, Finding José, is one of four  in Tamasha’s “Over to You” scratch night on 25th May 2018.

Date: Friday, 25 May 20178, 7:30pm
Venue: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

From Tamasha’s website:

We want to scratch the plays a company like ours – a diverse, cutting edge touring theatre company of 27 years – should be producing. …Over the course of three weeks, 70 artists submitted plays to scratch … we have narrowed this down to the four gripping short plays we will present, including:

Finding José by Amal Chatterjee
Graveyard Girlz by Lakesha Arie-Angela
Other Please Explain by Lynsey Martenstyn
The Affairs of Men by Sid Sagar

The plays will be followed by a Q&A with the writers.

More details from Tamasha

Booking (tickets £8-£10)

MSt alumna JC Niala at AfOx (Africa Oxford Initiative) on May 11th, 2018

From the website:

AfOx insaka

The AfOx insaka is a gathering for sharing ideas and knowledge about Africa-focused research with speakers from diverse and varied academic disciplines. There are two events each term. On Friday of Week 3, and Friday of Week 7. Each event will feature two talks by speakers from different disciplines, followed by questions and discussion. Drinks will be served afterwards.

Friday 11th May, 2018
J C Niala, University of Oxford; “History Hidden in Plain Site’ African Soldiers in WW1 & the seeds of Colonial Resistance”
Peter Horby and Nzelle Delphine Kayem

MSt alumna Jana Casale’s novel “The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky” published by Knopf on 17th April 2018

MSt alumna Jana Casale’s novel The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky will be published by Knopf on 17th April 2018. Jana will be appearing in Cambridge (MA), Brooklyn, and San Francisco (see below for details)

From the press release:

“What defines a life? In Jana Casale’s stunning debut The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky (Knopf; April 17, 2018), the experience of contemporary womanhood is put under the microscope: from pursuing career goals to trying on bathing suits to meeting your future spouse. Told in supremely relatable vignettes,The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky examines life’s little moments in all their exquisite, ordinary beauty, and speaks to urgent questions women face today – even as it offers the possibility that, in the end, it might all really be okay. Timely and timeless, Casale’s work will resonate with readers of Maggie Shipstead, Rona Jaffe, and Sheila Heti….”

“Readers meet Leda, the ‘girl’ at the steady center of Casale’s sharp debut, during her college years and spend the rest of the novel, which is also the rest of Leda’s life, getting to know her. … [t]here are thousands of things [Leda] does, thinks reads, and writes, which Casale relays with a careful, assured, and light touch – each one veritably thrilling in its ordinariness.” —Booklist, Starred Review

“Elegant, sharply drawn…[A] clear-eyed examination of a woman’s life [done] with abundant humor…Readers will be captivated.” —Publishers Weekly

“A funny, tender and touching illumination of the extraordinary beauty contained in a seemingly everyday life. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” –Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

“The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is bright with life, emotionally honest and powerfully observant. Jana Casale is a wise and exciting new voice.” –Julia Pierpont, New York Times bestselling author of Among the Ten Thousand Things.”

Jana will be appearing in bookshops:

Wednesday, April 25th | Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM – Harvard Bookstore, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., 02138

Thursday, April 26th | Brooklyn, NY
7:30 PM – Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St., 11231
In Conversation with Karah Preiss of Belletrist & Weike Wang

Saturday, April 28th | San Francisco, CA
Bay Area Book Festival Appearance

The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky : more information and an excerpt.

MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first adult novel to be published by Picador

After a “hotly contested” auction, MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first adult novel is to be published by Picador.

From The Bookseller:

Award-winning children’s author Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first foray into adult fiction has gone to Picador for a significant six-figure sum after a “hotly contested” 13-publisher auction.

Picador senior commissioning editor Sophie Jonathan bought UK and Commonwealth rights (including audio) to Vardø, and another novel, from Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit. There has been a pre-empt in Spain, with auctions ongoing in Germany, France and Italy and “major interest in the US”.”

Read the full article on The Bookseller website

MSt alumna Maya Popa’s “You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave” published

MSt alumna Maya Popa’s poetry collection You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave has been published by New Michigan Press

This is a work of seething precision. In these poems, hope is a meticulous, meditative state—a method of forensic searching and study that is carried with great care across generations. By stitching her raging images together with stillness and poise, Popa asks us to step back from our panic and look: “peeling back the hair, that quiet, necessary artifice, / to reveal a nesting doll of impulses.

—Caroline Bird

In Maya Catherine Popa’s You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave, feathers are unfulfilled parables, a hen’s eggs turn a vicious red, and a super moon “blooms a tyranny of flowers.” A helix of histories lies threaded to both the present day and the various magics of night. These poems are smart and lush, and at the end of each of them my heart, mind, and ear argue over which was lavished with the most pleasure. I am enchanted by this book, in its thrall, its bright gravity, its terribilitá.

—Traci Brimhall

Buy the collection from

MSt aluma Elena Kaufman’s “Love Bites” to be serialised on The Pigeonhole

“An intriguing and diverse set of stories
An earnest and thoughtfully written collection
Deftly crafted, these stories are bursting with engaging characters.”

MSt alumna Elena Kaufman’s short story collection Love Bites is to be serialised on The Pigeonhole. From the announcement:

“Foreigners, drifters, and eccentrics reach out to strangers in their desire to be witnessed, to be connected, and to find safety in a sea of anonymity.

Love Bites is a collection of thirteen stories set in Europe and North America. They trace foreigners, drifters and eccentrics linked by their need for acknowledgement and belonging. How do these characters survive physically and psychologically on unfamiliar ground whether as tourists, or strangers in new cities or in new situations which jolt them out of the security of the familiar? Recurring themes are of isolation, loss, and a desire for connection when strangers reach out to other strangers for stability.”

Visit Love Bites on the Pigeonhole to read the first instalment  for free (from 29th March 2018), and find out how to subscribe.

MSt tutor Sarah Bakewell awarded a Windham-Campbell prize

MSt tutor Sarah Bakewell has been awarded a Windham-Campbell prize.

From the announcement:

The Call of a Lifetime
The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes recently made the call of a lifetime to eight entirely surprised writers, informing them that they will each be recognized with a $165,000 USD prize to support their writing. Awards will be conferred September 12-14 at an international literary festival at Yale, where the Prizes are based.

Established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes are among the richest and most prestigious literary prizes on earth.

English language writers from anywhere in the world are eligible. This year’s recipients are: in drama, Lucas Hnath (US) and Suzan-Lori Parks (US); in nonfiction, Sarah Bakewell (UK) and Olivia Laing (UK); in fiction, John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK); and in poetry, Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) and Cathy Park Hong (US).”

Sarah Bakewell unknots complex philosophical thought with verve and wit; her eye for detail and her animated conversation bring readers to inhabit the lives of great philosophers …

Go to the prize website to read more