Author(s): Mahsuda Snaith
AN OBSERVER NEW FACE OF FICTION FOR 2017. "An original and affecting coming-of-age novel". (The Observer). "Fuses life's big themes with daily minutiae ...A voice of the next generation". (Stylist). "A vibrant portrayal of estate life in the late nineties and an affecting story of friendship". (The Independent). Ravine and Marianne were best friends. They practised handstands together, raced slugs and went into the woods to play. But now everything has changed. Ten years later, Ravine lies in a bed plagued by chronic pain syndrome. And her best friend Marianne is gone. How did their last adventure go so wrong? Who is to blame? And where is Marianne? Heartbreaking, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable, The Things We Thought We Knew is a powerful novel about the things we remember and the things we wish we could forget.
"An original and affecting coming-of-age novel ... Snaith's clear-eyed depiction of estate life at the turn of the millennium resists cliches" The Observer "A break out book from an incredibly talented debut writer [and] a quirky lovable mystery set in a Leicester council estate ... a brilliant, heartbreaking debut that perfectly captures the delirious highs and bruising lows of intoxicating friendship. What made me fall for The Things We Thought We Knew is its quintessentially British humour, which recalls Joanna Cannon's brilliant The Trouble With Goats and Sheep or Sue Townsend and Nina Stibbe's books. It's the understand that the most mundane things in life are a rich source of comedy and that they often go hand in hand with every day tragedy ... something truly special and original. Read, weep and laugh." -- Francesca Brown Stylist Magazine "Definitely worth squeezing into your hand luggage... one of the most brilliant summer beach reads ... a promising debut" Red "Written in clear yet multi-layered prose ... a vibrant portrayal of estate life in the late nineties and an affecting story of friendship, dealing with pain, grief and coming-of-age in a single-parent family. While those big themes pervade, it's the minutiae of life in Ravine's and Amma's flat that bring welcome humour, like her descriptions of Amma in her sari and white trainers, cleaned daily with vinegar and lemon ... It's an original, heartfelt read that will appeal as much to children of the nineties and noughties as it will readers of any age excited by a new British talent." Independent "Mahsuda Snaith is an exciting new voice in fiction. Her writing is deceptive. Crystal clear sentences ooze with texture and nuance. Characters that drip with lived experience. And above all, a clarity of vision. Mahsuda's work is brave and bold and she has a massive future ahead of her." Nikesh Shukla, prize-winning author and one of The Bookseller's Rising Stars of 2016 "Brimming with great characters... one to watch" Good Housekeeping "I was impressed by her ability to use small instances and quiet character traits as grenades to expose larger universal truths. Due in June, her new novel The Things We Thought We Knew is about chronic pain, being inside, and stillness, and it will, like Mahsuda's shorter fiction, be warm, effusive, and nuanced." -- Nikesh Shukla The Fader "In a small council flat on the Westhill Estate in Leicester a teenage girl, Ravine Roy, has barely left her room for 10 years, confined to her bed by chronic pain syndrome. On her 18th birthday, her doting Amma (mother) gives her a notebook and tells her to start a pain diary, but instead Ravine begins to write to her best childhood friend Marianne who disappeared 10 years earlier. Though that sounds very dark there's a lightness and humour to this debut and the character of Amma, who moved from Bangladesh to marry only to be abandoned to bring up Ravine alone, is a delight." The Bookseller "Some of the most affecting writers - Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Eimear McBride, Anne Tyler - have a knack for tackling tragedy through domestic detail and their characters' everyday humour; Snaith is one of those writers. Snaith's debut fuses life's big themes with daily minutiae as it tells the story of Ravine, stuck in her mother's council flat suffering from chronic pain syndrome since the disappearance of her childhood best friend ... A voice of the next generation." Stylist "This won't disappoint" The Asian Writer
Mahsuda Snaith is the winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2014 and Bristol Short Story Prize 2014, and a finalist in the Mslexia Novel Writing Competition 2013. She lives in Leicester where she leads writing workshops and teaches part-time in primary schools. Mahsuda is a fan of reading (obviously) and crochet (not so obviously). This is her first novel.