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Genie and Paul

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About the Author

Natasha Soobramanien studied English at Hull University and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She was a winner in the short story category of the Bridport Prize in 2009 and wrote two chapters of Luke Williams' debut novel, The Echo Chamber, winner of the Saltire Society's Scottish First Book of the Year Award 2011. Natasha was born in London, where she now lives.


'A treasure of a book - a novel of ideas that is also sensual, thrillingly alive. It is confident and smart, and emotionally resonant. Soobramanien's themes are questions of exile and place, and her writing makes them seem as though we are confronting them anew. That too is so very exciting.' - Christos Tsiolkas 'Genie and Paul is quite simply a stunning novel. It exudes the sort of originality that should, if there is any justice in the world, augur a long and honorable career.' - Maureen Freely 'A clever and beautiful novel, bringing new terrain into the literary.' - Amit Chaudhuri 'A vivid account of exile and expatriation...when it comes to mood and melancholy, Soobramanien's grasp is unerring. Skipping lightly from present to past, through intensely felt childhood fears and family histories, the book builds a rich, redolent landscape of dream and memory through which these isolated figures drift, seeking something that probably never existed to begin with: an island, a brother, a sense of belonging. For a debut novel, Genie and Paul is nothing short of remarkable.' - Time Out 'Soobramanien's poised, resonant tale of innocence and experience is strikingly original. A gifted painter of place and mood, she is as good on East End council flats ('reeking of Glade and psychosis') as the stray dogs and fruit-laden trees of Mauritius. Soobramanien subtly explores ideas of home in a way that marks her out as a rare talent.' - Daily Mail 'An exceptional debut novel. Soobramanien proves her emotional intelligence in her real understanding of what it means to grow up in a country not one's own. Her prose is vivid, clever and effective. She draws on ancient myths and legends and brings them onto a contemporary stage with quick freshness and originality. [Her] writing skills are startling and indisputable.' - Red Magazine 'The sense of belonging and the struggle to find it is realised sensitively by Soobramanien. The reader is aware of sad, serious and sinister events almost from the outset of the novel, but these events only gradually reveal themselves. Her character descriptions are perceptive and have been rather originally shaped.' - Bookgeeks 'Genie and Paul is a novel of breathtaking scope and heart-breaking beauty as it explores the meaning of identity and what it feels like to have no sense of your place in the world. Soobramanien's prose is a delight to the senses. She paints vivid scenes in the imagination with a sensitive and intelligent hand, evoking the sights, sounds and scents of both London and Mauritius. With each turn of the page I sank deeper into the text, soaked in warm waves of hope or the darkness of despair, before floating to the surface in tears at the end.' - Pamreader 'A stunning debut novel, lyrical and touching, that explores the bonds of family and what it means to call a place home.' - Foyles

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