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Aftermath: Radical Doubt; Radical Hope

Preti Taneja*email-imagePreti Taneja*

Preti Taneja FRSL is a writer and Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press / Knopf, 2017) won the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for the UK’s finest literary debut of the year, and was listed for awards including the Folio Prize, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and the Prix Jan Michalski, Europe’s premier award for a work of world literature. Aftermath (Transit / And Other Stories, 2021) was a Book of the Year in the New Yorker, The New Statesman and The White Review, and was shortlisted for a British Book of the Year award. Aftermath is the winner of the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize for literature that is ‘fearless in ambition and execution’. Preti is the recipient of a 2022 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Languages and Literatures awarded for her ground-breaking experimental work. In 2023 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

email-image taneja.preti@gmail.com

Abstract

Preti Taneja taught creative writing as part of Learning Together, Cambridge University’s prison education programme which took students into high-security prison to learn alongside incarcerated men. One of her first prison students was Usman Khan. Released on licence two years later, he went on to perpetrate the 2019 London Bridge terror attack in which Taneja’s Learning Together colleague Jack Merritt, and Saskia Jones were killed.

Aftermath is Taneja’s 2021 award-winning work of abolitionist, lyric non-fiction about the attack: a searching lament on institutional violence and structural harm, Islamophobia, trauma and terror, prison and grief. This article presents two extracts from parts one and three of the book, Radical Doubt and Radical Hope, which were included in Taneja’s 2022 British Academy Lecture at the University of Leeds.

Keywords

terrorprisongriefnon-fictionabolitionradicalCambridge Universitylyricalhope
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Published on: 22 May 2024
Volume: 12
Issue: Issue 1 & 2
Article ID: a14
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© The author(s) 2024.
Cite this article
Taneja (2024), ' Aftermath: Radical Doubt; Radical Hope ', Journal of the British Academy, 12(Issue 1 & 2): a14 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a14

Article commentary

Normal View Dyslexic View

Aftermath: Radical Doubt; Radical Hope

Preti Taneja*email-imagePreti Taneja*

Preti Taneja FRSL is a writer and Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press / Knopf, 2017) won the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for the UK’s finest literary debut of the year, and was listed for awards including the Folio Prize, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and the Prix Jan Michalski, Europe’s premier award for a work of world literature. Aftermath (Transit / And Other Stories, 2021) was a Book of the Year in the New Yorker, The New Statesman and The White Review, and was shortlisted for a British Book of the Year award. Aftermath is the winner of the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize for literature that is ‘fearless in ambition and execution’. Preti is the recipient of a 2022 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Languages and Literatures awarded for her ground-breaking experimental work. In 2023 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

email-image taneja.preti@gmail.com