The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies (Paperback)
  • The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies (Paperback)
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The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 30/04/2009
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Waterstones Says

Told with endless warmth and candour, Sanghera’s memoir is at once a hilarious and heart-breaking meditation on life-changing secrets, family ties, mental illness and cultural identity.

Now a major new BBC drama

It's 1979, I'm three years old, and like all breakfast times during my youth it begins with Mum combing my hair, a ritual for which I have to sit down on the second-hand, floral-patterned settee, and lean forward, like I'm presenting myself for execution.

The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies is a hilarious and heart-rending reinvention of the modern British memoir.

For Sathnam Sanghera, growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties was a confusing business. On the one hand, these were the heady days of George Michael mix-tapes, Dallas on TV and, if he was lucky, the occasional Bounty Bar. On the other, there was his wardrobe of tartan smocks, his 30p-an-hour job at the local sewing factory and the ongoing challenge of how to tie the perfect top-knot.

And then there was his family, whose strange and often difficult behaviour he took for granted until, at the age of twenty-four, Sathnam made a discovery that changed everything he ever thought he knew about them.

Equipped with breathtaking courage and a glorious sense of humour, he embarks on a journey into their extraordinary past - from his father's harsh life in rural Punjab to the steps of the Wolverhampton Tourist Office - trying to make sense of a life lived among secrets.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141028590
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 234 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

I absolutely loved it. Heartbreaking and wonderful. He writes beautifully -- Maggie O'Farrell

"Could not be more enjoyable, engaging or moving" - Observer

"About real secrets, in a real quest for understanding. It's tragic, funny and disturbing. It will challenge you, and may even change you -- Carole Angier" - Independent

"Hilarious, engaging, tragicomic" - Meg Rosoff, Guardian

"Gripping and entertaining, horrifying and tender ... Exposes all those things we take for granted as we grow up" - Hardeep Singh Kohli, The Times

Fans of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe will love this book * Psychologies *

Gripping, tender ... recalls A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius * Time Out *

Told with enormous compassion and dry wit. The climax had me on the edge of my seat * Jonathan Coe *

Funny, heartfelt * Marie Claire *

Hugely enjoyable * New Statesman *

Funny and revealing * Sunday Times *

Marvellous. A book which manages to be colourful, funny, heart-breaking and shocking ... there's a dry wit and unexpectedness about this tale that kept me on my toes throughout * Irish Examiner *

Intimate and funny * Metro *

Moving * The London Paper *

Moving * Sunday Times *

Harrowing and impossible to put down * Evening Standard *

The most moving debut we've read in ages * Elle *

Could not be more enjoyable, engaging or moving * Observer *

Fans of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe will love this book * Psychologies *

Gripping, tender ... recalls A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius * Time Out *

Told with enormous compassion and dry wit. The climax had me on the edge of my seat * Jonathan Coe *

Funny, heartfelt * Marie Claire *

Hugely enjoyable * New Statesman *

Funny and revealing * Sunday Times *

Marvellous. A book which manages to be colourful, funny, heart-breaking and shocking ... there's a dry wit and unexpectedness about this tale that kept me on my toes throughout * Irish Examiner *

Intimate and funny * Metro *

Moving * The London Paper *

Moving * Sunday Times *

Harrowing and impossible to put down * Evening Standard *

The most moving debut we've read in ages * Elle *

'Gripping and entertaining, horrifying and tender ... Exposes all those things we take for granted as we grow up -- Hardeep Singh Kohli * The Times *

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“The Boy with the Topknot”

Absolutely brilliant! Please, please read!

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 57

“Enthralling”

Mr Sanghera always writes well but this memoir is exceptional. The resilience of his community, given the unwillingness of so many from that world to admit to or even understand mental illness is remarkable. His... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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