WOMAD Book Club 2021 in the World of Words
This year’s books will transport you across the globe and take you on various journeys; from the poorest parts of India to the richest, from Jakarta to Bhutan, and from Uganda and back to the UK. Grab yourself a copy from your local bookstore and come and hear the authors in the World of Words at WOMAD.
Rahul Raina – “How To Kidnap the Rich”
Ramesh Kumar takes exams for the sons of India’s elite; he’s a self-styled ‘examinations consultant’, a cog in the wheel that keeps India’s middle classes thriving. When he takes an exam for Rudi – an intolerably lazy but rich teenager – he accidentally scores the highest mark in the country and propels Rudi into stardom.
What next? Blackmail. Reality television. Grotesque wealth.
And after that? Kidnap. Double-kidnap. Reverse kidnap.
Rahul Raina’s debut novel has already had its film rights snapped up by HBO.
Rahul divides his time between Oxford and Delhi, he runs his own UK business for part of the year, and works for charities for street children and teaches English in India for the rest of the year.
The Independent : “full of sparkling wit…an exciting blend of crime caper, satire, love story and social commentary”
Emma Slade – “Set Free”
An inspiring true story of a life lived to extremes; from fast paced city life to the stillness of the Himalayan mountains.
Emma was a high flying debt-analyst for a large investment bank. On a business trip to Jakarta in 1997 she was held hostage at gunpoint in a hotel room. What followed was PTSD and a profound change in her view of life. She then embarked on a journey, discovering the healing power of yoga, and in Bhutan, opening her eyes to a kinder, more peaceful way of living.
Emma is now a buddhist nun and has set up a charity to help children in Bhutan with special needs. Her Ted talk has more than 650,000 views.
Davina McCall “This is an amazing woman with an amazing story”
Neema Shah – “Kololo Hill”
In 1972 a devastating decree was issued by Ugandan President Idi Amin – all 80,000 Asians living in the country were ordered to leave. They were given only 90 days to go with just £50 each. Neema Shah’s impressive debut novel is set amidst the turmoil of that expulsion. Asha and Pran and Pran’s mother Jaya, must leave everything they’ve ever known for a new life in Britain. But as they try to rebuild their lives, a terrible secret hangs over them.
Neema Shah lives in London. This story is partly inspired by her grandparents who left India for East Africa in the 1940s.
Irish Times : “this is a novel about home, about belonging and exile; a compelling and complex insight into a recent past that still resonates”