Meeting writers on the page since 1996


Alinah Azadeh

“There is only one person ahead of me in the queue for the phone at school, which is in the corridor near the main hall and front entrance. It is morning breaktime on April 1st. I am trembling, ill-at-ease in an A-line, dark blue, crimplene skirt, white nylon shirt and gold and blue striped tie. I look down at the floor, see rows of thin, waxed, wooden diagonals slotted together, shiny, scuffed in places. I am shaking as I squeeze a bright silver coin in my hand. It is lodged, sharply cold in the centre of my sweaty palm, embedding a round, ridged, red mark onto my skin. My cousin – soon to be adopted sister – Banoo gave me this coin in the morning, sliding it into my hand – together with a phone number – as if it were a precious weapon. She looked me in the eye, and we each swore not to tell on the other if either one of us got caught.”

From ‘In the Skin of a Stranger’ – included in the showcase

“When it was longlisted for the S.I Leeds Literary prize last year, In the Skin of a Stranger was a ‘fiction novel based on real events’. After being offered a Sable Lit mentoring scholarship earlier this year by Kadija George and TLC, working with editor Thalia Suzuma to restructure and complete my book (to whom I am extremely grateful for her rigour and strong belief in my work), I was advised to claim it as my artist memoir, which I now have. Time, space, TLC and so many other brilliant key allies and beta readers have been crucial in the completion of this book (thankyou) which, after five years is now ready to send out for representation and eventual publication.” From the Introduction