Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Thatcher's Fractured Britain Fuels Title Chosen For Brighton's City Reads 2017

City Reads returns with a stunning debut novel, from a British Asian writer, that is both relevant and important. The Handsworth Times is a book for our times - and should be read by everyone who believes in society.

It is 1981, factories are closing, unemployment is high, the NF are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher's fractured Britain

The Agarwal family are facing their own personal tragedy, but their pain is eased through humour, friendship and community.

This novel's remarkable authenticity and triumphant spirit proves that there is such a thing as society, and given what is happening in this post Brexit era, we need it now, more than ever.

The book's author, Brighton based author Sharon Duggal, says: 

"It is quite a special thing to know that people from all walks of life across the city where I live and work will be coming together to read my book, just as I have done with many previous City Reads selections. 

"The Handsworth Times is ultimately a book about the hope we find in other people and it will be such a pleasure to have the opportunity to get out there and share the story with so many different people across this city via the inspired City Reads programme of events." 

Kate Tempest the Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2017 has spoken about her passion for the arts and its power to bring communities together:

And in these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing. 

The Handsworth Times reminds us, that we are all part of the same thing, and there is a comfort in putting aside difference and joining together in solidarity.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: 

"That Sharon Duggal's powerful debut explores the importance of empathy and community is particularly fitting as a choice for City Reads which encourages readers to come together with the common purpose of reading and discussing their love of reading together. 

"And with Kate Tempest at the helm as Guest Director this year, it is a theme which is central to her vision for the Festival as a whole."

City Reads launches across Brighton & Hove on 2nd March 2017. - Sharon Duggal - in conversation at Brighton Festival on 14th May 2017.. See  for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


Carleen Anderson has been hailed by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as 'phenomenal and one of a kind' and now, for Brighton Fesival 20018, she's joining ranks with virtuoso pianist Nikki Yeoh, and Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle.

Brighton bound Catholic Action are a product of Glasgow's famously fertile music scene but have won fans across the UK thanks to a run of peerless pop tunes.

Roger Daltrey is set to release new solo album, As Long As I Have You, which features Pete Townshend's inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council).

RadioReverb, Brighton's not for profit radio station, will be Broadcast Media Partner for Brighton Festival 2018, following last year's partnership.

As part of World Poetry Day, the world's first and only mobile poetic first aid service will be open to everyone at Jubilee Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am – 4pm. 

Snow Patrol will return later this spring with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients' embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist, Jamie McCartney.

“Sometimes you have to go to the edge of the world in order to come back again,” says Chris Difford on the rollercoaster ride his eventful life in the music business has provided.

Reef, the revitalised west-country quartet, have returned with Revelation, their first studio album since 2000's, Getaway.  
The Damned by Steve Gullick 2018

It's 2018 and the results of The Damned's collaboration with another legend from pop's golden age – Tony Visconti, is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public

Described as “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” Doctors of Madness exploded onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band's dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

In 2015 The Handsome Family became famous for providing the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO's hit TV drama series True Detective, introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. 
Charlie Craggs: Founder of Nail Transphobia

Brighton Dome joins forces with Brighton Women's Centre and Brighton Museum to celebrate International Women's Day 2018. Enjoy stalls, talks, tasters and specially commissioned work reflecting on the issues raised throughout the day.
Pic By Jasmine L Dunne

In the summer of 1969, Clarice looks back on her turbulent life. Having experienced a sheltered upbringing, the events that followed have left her with a feeling that the world around her was moving too fast. 

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