My grandfather arrived in Britain as an economic migrant in 1956. He worked in the grey factories of Manchester before opening a grocery shop and eventually his own restaurant. Although my grandfather had no formal education and could not read or write, he placed great emphasis on academic success for his children and grandchildren. He did not live to see my two sisters and I graduate from Oxford University, but I wonder if he had ever imagined that in just two generations such a thing might have been possible.
The novel I am currently working on draws on family anecdotes and oral testimonies in an effort to portray even a fragment of the experiences of my grandfather and his generation.