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Sathnam will be in conversation with executive producer and creative director of Sugar Films Narinder Minhas, a University of Exeter alumnus. 

Author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera to discuss prize-winning career as part of University of Exeter’s Creative Dialogues series

Prize-winning author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera will discuss his influential work as part of the University of Exeter’s Creative Dialogues series of events.

Sathnam has been a journalist at the The Financial Times and The Times and is a regular contributor on national radio and TV. He is also known for his influential books, including The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies, which was adapted into a BBC Two drama.

Creative Dialogues is a series of exclusive ‘in-conversation’ free events showcasing a range of high-profile speakers who are leaders in their respective fields across the creative industries and Humanities. They offer rare opportunities to join internationally renowned professionals in person and learn first-hand about their colourful careers and life works.

Sathnam will be in conversation with executive producer and creative director of Sugar Films Narinder Minhas, a University of Exeter alumnus. They will discuss Sathnam’s experiences in journalism and as an author, and his work with Narinder on the Channel 4 documentary The Massacre that Shook the Empire. The programme explored the history, politics and collective memory of empire through the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919, also known as the Amritsar massacre.

The Massacre That Shook The Empire, shown earlier this year on Channel 4, was shortlisted for best Factual TV show at the 2019 Asian Media Awards. In the film Sathnam explores what happened on 13th April 1919 when a British General ordered troops to gun down a crowd of men, women, children and infants who were peacefully gathered in a park in Amritsar, India. With nowhere to run or hide, hundreds were killed, and over a thousand more were wounded. He meets descendants of the survivors and relatives of those responsible. The moving documentary is available to watch on C4’s catch up service, All 4

Sathnam was born to Punjabi parents in the West Midlands in 1976. He arrived at infant school unable to speak English but, after attending Wolverhampton Grammar School, graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge with a first class degree in English Language and Literature in 1998. Before becoming a writer he worked at a burger chain, a hospital laundry, a market research firm, a sewing factory and a literacy project in New York.

The Boy With The Topknot was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year.

Sathnam’s novel, Marriage Material, has been shortlisted for a 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award and a 2013 Costa Book Award, been longlisted for the 2014 Desmond Elliot Prize, picked by The Sunday TimesThe Observer and Metro as one of the novels of 2013, and cited as one of the Guardian Readers’ Books of the Year in 2014.

The event will be held in the Queen’s Building on the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus in Exeter, on Monday 25 November, from 18:15 - 19:45pm. Sign up for tickets at

Date: 19 November 2019

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