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May 2015

English Language tutor publishes her first novel

(14 May 2015)

Sheena Kalayil, an English Language tutor in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, has published her novel, The Beloved Country, with Grosvenor House Publishing, a self-publishing house.

Sheena began writing the novel some years ago when she was living in Edinburgh. She said: “I found myself in the UK, married and expecting my first child, having spent most of my adult life until then travelling and working all over the world. I think starting a novel was a way of keeping in touch with my previous nomadic existence!”

She had a break from writing to complete a master’s and start a PhD, picking it up again a few years ago. She said: “It was like re-discovering an old love. I think I learned that I will always have to write: it’s my passion.” Her agent encouraged her to self-publish in order to expose her work to a wider readership.

The Beloved Country is partly set in Mozambique, India and the US. Sheena sees it as a very personal story: “Finding yourself, finding love, learning about others: these are all themes that transcend national boundaries. I wanted to write a book that gives readers a very intimate insight into the narrator’s life, while exploring the questions we all face ourselves. I’ve been very grateful for the positive response I have received from readers and bookshops.”

The Beloved Country is now available in Blackwell’s in the University Precinct, selected Waterstones bookshops and via online retailers, including Amazon.

Waterstones in Wilmslow will also be hosting a reading and signing evening for the book on Wednesday, 10 June from 6.30pm.