Cityread London book of 2019 unveiled

Claire Coughlan
News - Books Tuesday, 05 February 2019

Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik (Bonnier Zaffre) has been chosen for the month-long celebration of reading in May

Ayisha Malik's Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged - billed as the "Muslim Bridget Jones" - has been named as Cityread's book of 2019. The promotion, which returns for its eighth year, takes place in May.

Bonnier Zaffre has published Malik's second novel, The Other Half of Happiness, and will publish her third, This Green and Pleasant Land, in June. Malik is also also the ghostwriter behind Nadiya Hussain's bestselling The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters (published by HQ in 2017).

Cityread launches with an event at the House of Lords on 1 May. It will feature live readings from the novel by Anjli Mohindra and Nina Wadia, author discussions chaired by Helen Lederer with Malik and Candice Carty-Williams at the London Library, and events in public libraries across 24 London boroughs, plus Luton and Slough.

The promotion is supported by a grant from Amal, a programme of the Saïd Foundation. Key partnerships include the Museum of London, Aga Khan Centre, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, and Picturehouse Greenwich.

Malik said: "I couldn’t be more excited for Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged to be selected for Cityread this year. It's already a special year for me with the publication of my third novel This Green and Pleasant Land in June, and to have my debut book out there again with the whole of London reading it is just wonderful!"

Perminder Mann, ceo at Bonnier Books UK, said: "We couldn't be more thrilled that Ayisha and her enduring novel Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged has been chosen as this year's Cityread London. Ayisha's distinctive voice is smart, funny and engaging and now even more readers will have the opportunity to discover her brilliant writing. I'm so proud that Bonnier Books UK is taking part in this annual celebration of literature and meaningful cultural moment for London."

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