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.
My debut novel, Hashim & Family is inspired by the experiences of my grandparents’ generation and their struggles in making a home in a new land. At a time when migrants are being increasingly dehumanised, it is important to celebrate the long and rich histories of so many families in Britain.
Shahnaz’s novel will be published on 2nd April 2020 and details can be found here.