Jyoti Patel

09 Nov 2023

On Friday 3rd November, we were extremely grateful to host a visit by Jyoti Patel, a novelist who has recently released her debut novel: The Things That We Lost with Penguin and #Merky books. 

Jyoti has recently been identified by The Observer as one of the top ten most exciting debut novelists of 2023, and her debut novel is testament to this. The novel is centred around the relationship between a mother and a son, who, reeling from the death of their bapu, start to become distant from each other due to unspoken secrets from their family's past. 

Jyoti read from a couple of chapters of her book, and then fielded some well constructed questions by members of our Year 10 and 12 cohort. She spoke about the process behind crafting a novel, diversity and representation in literature, and Gujarati culture. She mentioned to me on many occasions how she was taken aback by the maturity and sophistication of the students who attended.

Speaking to students afterwards, many spoke about what a fascinating experience it was to hear from an acclaimed published author, and felt validated by her thoughts on representing the experiences of those from Asian backgrounds in literature.