What's in a Name?: Friendship, Identity and History in Modern Multicultural Britain (Hardback)
  • What's in a Name?: Friendship, Identity and History in Modern Multicultural Britain (Hardback)
zoom

What's in a Name?: Friendship, Identity and History in Modern Multicultural Britain (Hardback)

(author)
£18.99
Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 03/08/2023
  • 10+ in stock

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR

'A brilliantly enlightening book . . . at times moving, at others ironic, full of insights and detail'
Michael Rosen

'A kaleidoscopic portrait of the UK . . . with insight and compassion'
Irish Times

Our names are so mundane that we barely notice them. Yet each contains countless stories of tradition and belonging - be that a legacy of colonialism or persecution, the desire to fit in, or the complex cultural inheritance from one's parents.

In What's in a Name?, Sheela Banerjee unravels the personal histories of friends and family through their names. And while tracing their heritage across centuries and continents - from west London to British India, and from 1960s Jamaica to pre-Revolutionary Russia - Sheela also tells the story of twentieth-century immigration to the UK.

Blending history, memoir and politics, What's in a Name? is a celebration of Britain's rich multiculturalism, an ode to friendship and a testament to all the stories held within our names.

'Absolutely fascinating . . . the stories woven into this superb book will stay with me for a long time. I cannot recommend it highly enough'
Priscilla Morris, author of Black Butterflies

'A compelling combination of personal stories and social histories, told with great heart, wit and detail'
Preeti Dhillon, author of The Shoulders We Stand On

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781529367591
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 446 g
Dimensions: 218 x 140 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This is a brilliantly enlightening book that uses the keyhole of people's names to let us see into the lives and histories of people in multicultural Britain. It ranges across continents and epochs, at times moving, at others ironic, full of insights and detail. - Michael Rosen

A kaleidoscopic portrait of the UK . . . Banerjee describes her friends' backgrounds and experiences with insight and compassion - Ian Duhig, Irish Times

Explores the complex stories of colonialism, persecution, faith, assimilation and hope . . . It will resonate with anyone who feels their name marks them out . . . Banerjee paints a heartbreakingly tender portrait of her father's journey - Helen Brown, i

A brilliant book where she examines how her name can tell us so much about her family and their story. And she looks at some of her friends' names too . . . fascinating stories weaving in and around the subject of names - Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, Times Radio

An absolutely fascinating deep dive into Sheela's own Bengali name and the names of several of her close friends, uncovering migration stories from Tsarist Russia, India, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and Jamaica and the shocking racism of growing up in '70s and '80s Britain. It's compelling reading, painting a picture of multicultural Britain today that is both familiar and eye-opening. It makes you think of your own name and its impact, and reflect on those of your friends. Excellent, highly readable and absorbing, the stories woven into this superb book will stay with me for a long time. I cannot recommend What's In a Name? highly enough.' - Priscilla Morris, author of Black Butterflies

Sheela Banerjee mixes indignation with curiosity. She goes through the "keyhole" of her friends' names to unpeel complex stories of identity. The book defies monochrome pictures of how we define ourselves, how we live, how we mix. - Michael Rosen, Books of the Year, New Statesman

Banerjee deftly weaves intricate tapestries out of the seemingly simple threads of our names. What's In A Name? is a compelling combination of personal stories and social histories, told with great heart, wit and detail. It's simultaneously heartbreaking, life-affirming and delightfully surprising. And for anyone who has ever been bullied because of their name, had their name mispronounced, or asked where their name comes from, Banerjee shows that there is a world of belonging and love in our names, if we just know where to look. - Preeti Dhillon, author of The Shoulders We Stand On

You may also be interested in...

Man Alone with Himself
Added to basket
The Mabinogion
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Short Walks from Bogotá
Added to basket
The Road to Wigan Pier
Added to basket
Green Hills of Africa
Added to basket
Pictures from Italy
Added to basket
Against Interpretation and Other Essays
Added to basket
Watermark: An Essay on Venice
Added to basket
Down and Out in Paris and London
Added to basket
Revelations of Divine Love
Added to basket
What is Art?
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Histories
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Rebel
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Hell's Angels
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
On Solitude
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: