Monday, 19 December 2016
A List Of Thank Yous, And Some Brief Thoughts About 2016
Thank you for purchasing The Good Immigrant, for promoting it, for reviewing it, for word-of-mouthing it, for supporting it, for wishing it well, for making noise about it. Thank you if you supported the crowdfunding campaign, saw it in a shop, saw us at a literary festival, went on a friend's recommendation, off a review, from seeing my stupid face in a purposefully silly advert (which is here, if you missed it).
Thank you to my agent, Julia Kingsford. You are an incredible person and you have supported me so much this year. I couldn't have done a lot of any of this without you.
Thank you to Unbound. Thank you to Amy, who publicised the crap out of this book. To John and Dan for the platform. To Rachael for commissioning the book off a three line email. To Caitlin and Isobel for production managing this thing into existence.
Thank you to Bim Riz Reni Musa Chimene Varaidzo Sarah Ming Daniel Salena Vera Himesh Sabrina Coco Darren Inua Kieran Vinay L Nish. I may have put the book together but you all made it what it is. Your words filled it up. Your work. Your thoughts. Your minds. Your passion. Your drive. Your brilliance. Your relevance. Your love. Your warmth. Your jokes. Your heartbreaks. Your anger. Your lives. Your tensions. Your brilliance. I say it again, your brilliance. This book is just a cover with a cool-ass title I stole off Musa without your work. Thank you.
Thank you to everyone at Rife Magazine and Watershed, who supported me and encouraged me over the months it took to make this in my spare time. Thanks to Cai, Grace and Antonia for helping me make stupid videos. To Jon for making more stupid videos. To Ailsa, Aisha and Jazz for being around. To Barker and Kaja for kind words. To Vanessa, Hannah, Roseanna and Holly for being an incredibly engaging team. To Clare and Dick for running a magical place.
Thank you to every single writer at gal-dem. Thank you to Sharan at Burnt Roti. Thank you to everyone at Media Diversified. To everyone at Skindeep. To Sunny, Sam and Henna who set up the Jhalak Prize with me. To Sharmaine (and Julia again) for the secret thing.
General nods in the direction of Bolu Babalola for the lols, Sarah Shaffi Mariam Khan and Louie Stowell for support, Chimene Suleyman Inua Ellams Musa Okwonga and Rosie Knight for being siblings, god this must be tedious for you to read because it's basically a love in with everyone I love, Harpreet for the excellent shade DMs, Salena and Niven for mentoring me when I needed it, Will Wiles and James Smythe for the death star, Josh for energy, Sam Binnie for excellence, Josie for being an agent of hope, Nerm for spilling a pint over my pregnant wife, Suze for being Suze...
And finally, to dad, Sunnie, K, Krups, Leens, Nish, Priya, Resh, and all my brothers and sisters.
We've had a dark bloody year, and yes this book was a success, but it was a book born out of pain, and it's been hard reliving that pain. But I'm glad it resonated, made people feel uncomfortable, represented, loved, needed, wanted. We did the book for many reasons. None of those reasons matter so much once you have readers and those readers all have their own responses to the book. It's yours now.
Fuck this government and its narrative around immigration. Fuck you 2016, I won't miss you.
I can't say this enough, but thank you to all of you. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. We did a good thing.
When Zadie Smith wrote about how England was a gigantic mirror and Irie had no reflection, I hope this acts as a small mirror. When Junot Diaz said that we become monsters when we're denied reflections of ourselves at a cultural level, I hope we feel less monstrous. When Jyn says in Rogue One, that rebellions are built on hope, I hope there is hope enough in this book, and in those of use wanting to resist this government, to build a rebellion.
Thank you. Goodbye. We did a good thing.