Heinemann buys début by Times columnist

Heinemann buys début by Times columnist

William Heinemann has bought a début novel by Times columnist Sathnam Sanghera about three generations of the same family and their Wolverhampton corner shop.

Publisher Jason Arthur bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to Marriage Material from Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency. The book will be published in hardback in 2013, with a Windmill paperback to follow in 2013.

The novel follows Arjan Sandhu, recently returned to the Black Country from London after his father was killed in a racist attack. He struggles to cope with the change of pace but uncovers the history of his family and decides to stay to try to heal their wounds.

The publisher said: “Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett’s 1908 novel The Old Wives’ Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop—itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities.”

Arthur said: “I’m truly delighted to be publishing Sathnam’s next book. He has already proven himself to be one of the UK’s most interesting and accomplished writers and Marriage Material promises to be an ambitious and exhilarating début novel.”

Sanghera is a columnist and comment writer at the Times. His first book, The Boy with a Topknot, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Book Awards in the best biography category. The book was also shortlisted for the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and was named the 2009 Mind book of the year.