DESIblitz Literature Festival – In Conversation with Sarfraz Manzoor

Monday 20 September 2021

Join us for this in-depth interview and live audience Q&A with Sarfraz Manzoor about his memoir, ‘They’. Hosted by writer Gautam Malkani.

Event description

Join author and journalist Sarfraz Manzoor as he talks about his newest book, THEY: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other, described as a personal journey around Muslim Britain. Powerful, hopeful, and inspiring – this is the story of Britain as never told before – through the lived experiences of three generations of Muslims and Sarfraz’s own personal insight.

About the book

Sarfraz Manzoor grew up in a working-class Pakistani Muslim family in Luton – where he was raised to believe that they were different, they had an alien culture and they would never accept him. They were white people.

In today’s deeply divided Britain we are often told they are different, they have a different culture and values and they will never accept this country. This time they are Muslims.

Weaving together history, reportage, and memoir, Sarfraz Manzoor journeys around Britain in search of the roots of this division – from the fear that Islam promotes violence, to the suspicion that Muslims wish to live segregated lives, to the belief that Islam is fundamentally misogynistic.

‘THEY’ is also Manzoor’s search for a more positive future. We hear stories from Islamic history of a faith more tolerant and progressive than commonly assumed, and stories of hope from across the country which show how we might bridge the chasm of mutual mistrust. ‘THEY’ is at once fiercely urgent, resolutely hopeful, and profoundly personal. It is the story of modern, Muslim Britain as it has never been told.

About the author

Sarfraz Manzoor is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. He has written and presented documentaries for BBC radio and television and is a regular columnist for the Guardian, the Sunday Times Magazine, and The Times. His first book, Greetings From Bury Park, was published to critical acclaim. In 2019, it was adapted for the big screen and released around the world under the name Blinded by the Light.

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