Member Eve Mitleton-Kelly reports on a wonderful evening of good food, plenty of wine and an excellent speaker. On 24 September ROSL hosted an Evelyn Wrench Supper with Abir Mukherjee, the crime writer.
The ROSL Book Group was introduced to the work of Abir Mukherjee when reading Smoke and Ashes. We had a very lively discussion and loved it. Abir’s series of crime novels, which centre on the character of Sam Wyndham, are set in Raj-era India. What distinguishes them from other crime novels is the history of India woven very skillfully into the plot.
Although many from the ROSL Book Group were present, the evening was open to all ROSL members and their guests. Abir talked about his life and how he became a writer. He was born in England, but his family moved to Western Scotland when he was four years old. He subsequently moved to Glasgow. He is therefore a Bengali, brought up in Scotland with a soft Glaswegian accent. He was highly entertaining, but also touched on serious matters of race relations; an example of that light hearted touch on serious issues was “The West of Scotland was – and still is - a very odd place, where your skin colour is of less importance than the sect of Christianity your family nominally follows, where marrying a Muslim raises fewer eyebrows than marrying a Celtic supporter.”
The supper was for 30 and every single person turned up! We sat at seven tables, carefully measured out to distance both individual diners and whole tables. During the Q&A, speakers had to stand at least one meter away from their table to voice their question. Everyone was so pleased to be doing something close to ‘normal’ that we had a simply wonderful time. The superb speaker with the excellent food and plentiful wine, did help!
The presentation was recorded and will shortly be made available on the ROSL YouTube channel.
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