Grow Where They Fall: Michael Donkor & Santanu Bhattacharya

Saturday 25 May
National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall
17.30 - 18.30
£ 10.00 - £7.50 (U18/Young NNF)

Join two intelligent and compassionate novelists, Michael Donkor and Santanu Bhattacharya, as they discuss the themes of past lives and blossoming identities in their fiction.

Michael Donkor (Hold, Grow Where They Fall) and Santanu Bhattacharya (One Small Voice) will explore coming of age voices, queer and racial identities, and how familial ties and childhood events can affect the adult you become.

Michael Donkor is one of the most compelling and relatable voices in contemporary British fiction. His highly anticipated second novel Grow Where They Fall is a beautifully written, funny, and deeply moving story of queer identity, past lives and expanding the limits of your future. Paul Mendez called it ‘a refreshing and beautifully observed queer narrative that centres someone who is, like many of us, simply seeking joy in a world we are not responsible for.’

Santanu Bhattacharya’s debut novel One Small Voice is a coming of age tale set in India, featuring a young man who must reckon with the ghosts of his past — including a terrible act of mob violence — in order to rewrite his story. It was an Observer best debut novel for 2023 and received praise from the Guardian and Irish Times.


Part of City of Literature weekend 2024


City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by the National Centre for Writing.


Michael Donkor was born in London to Ghanaian parents. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. His first novel, Hold, was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prizes. He is a frequent contributor to outlets including the Guardian, the TLS and the Independent.

‘Hugely enjoyable and very moving, Donkor’s frank, clear-eyed and funny prose is so refreshing’ — Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People


Santanu Bhattacharya is the author of One Small Voice (Penguin Fig Tree), an Observer Best Debut Novel for 2023. He grew up in India, and studied at the University of Oxford and National University of Singapore. Santanu is the winner of the 2023 Desmond Elliott Prize Residency, and the 2021 Mo Siewcharran Prize, the Life Writing Prize and a London Writers’ Awards. His short fiction have appeared in Commonwealth Writers’ adda and TOKEN magazines. He is a graduate of the Tin House Writers’ Workshop. He currently lives in London.

‘A joy to read, a full universe of feeling, an effortless page-turner by a born storyteller’ ― Max Porter