Somebody Loves You

Mona Arshi

Published by And Other Stories

A subtle, captivating debut about the power of silence from a prize-winning poet.

A teacher asked me a question, and I opened my mouth as a sort of formality but closed it softly, knowing with perfect certainty that nothing would ever come out again.

Ruby gives up talking at a young age. Her mother isn’t always there to notice; she comes and goes and goes and comes, until, one day, she doesn’t. Silence becomes Ruby’s refuge, sheltering her from the weather of her mother’s mental illness, the vagaries of her sister’s moods, and a pressurized suburban atmosphere.

Plangent, deft, and sparkling with wry humour, Somebody Loves You is a moving exploration of how we choose or refuse to tell the stories that shape us.

‘Each sentence has the cadence of poetry, each phrase perfectly chosen, each word correctly weighed. This novel reminds us that memory and narrative are often not complete but rather are crystallised glimpses, which turn like a kaleidoscope through our mind.’ – Andrew McMillan

‘A masterful, subtle and heartbreaking novel – I loved it.’ – Jo Heygate, Pages of Hackney

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Mona Arshi was born in West London, where she still lives. She worked as a human rights lawyer with Liberty for a decade before receiving a master’s in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. Her debut poetry collection Small Hands was published in 2015, winning the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Mona Arshi regularly appears on BBC Radio 4. Her poems have been published in The Sunday TimesThe Guardian and the Times of India and most recently the London Underground. Image (c) Karolina Heller

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