Festival guest: Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla is appearing at our performance poetry / spoken word night on 15th September so prepare yourself for anything. Poet, hip hop artist, singer/songwriter and author – his debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010 – he could unleash anything from a short story to a poem to a rap. Hell, we’ve even seen him dancing with a robot.

We also really can’t recommend Coconut Unlimited highly enough. It’s the story of teenager Amit and his two friends, Asian kids in a Harrow private school who form a rap band to help them deal with the traumas of girls, overbearing parents and just trying to fit in. The book is rather autobiographical and Nikesh exposes those cringeworthy teenage moments with a lovely self-deprecating tone – Amit is an everyman that everyone will recognise and chuckle over. And it’s not just us:

‘Energetic, tender and fizzing with some hilariously awful rapping.’
The Word

‘…a riot of cringeworthy moments made real by Shukla’s beautifully observed characters and talent for teen banter.’

Coconut Unlimited also shows off how good Nikesh is with rhythm. The prose flows like poetry and even fans of white-kid indie music will be able to hear the rap beats in their heads. It’s a good book to curl up with (and not very long) – hopefully make you want to see what the author comes up with at Lewisham.

Nikesh is performing at the poetry night on Thursday 15th September. See the events page for more details.

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