Leeds Beckett's Writer in Residence scoops top EU prize for literature
The extremely prestigious prize, which is open to the 36 member countries of the ‘Creative Europe’ programme, aims to highlight the diverse creativity and richness of Europe’s contemporary literature talent.
Sunjeev was previously named one of Granta’s Best of British Young Novelists in 2013, won the Sky Arts Award in 2016 and is a rising star of contemporary British literature.
Principal Lecturer in English Literature at Leeds Beckett, Dr Katy Shaw, added: “The whole English and Creative Writing team is delighted at Sunjeev's success. The award is a timely reminder of our close connection with European readers and writers and the power of literature to resonate across borders in the 21st century world.”
“Sunjeev's writing speaks to issues that impact on humans living in Europe and beyond, and we are very lucky to share in his process and craft as part of his role as writer in residence for Leeds Beckett University.”
Born of Punjabi descendants, Sunjeev grew up in Chesterfield. After finishing school, Sunjeev studied mathematics at Imperial College London before working in the marketing department of a leading insurance company. His love of literature began when he was 18 years old when, on a trip to India, he picked up a copy of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight's Children at the airport; it was the first novel he read and the catalyst to his writing career.
Since then Sunjeev has published two novels: Ours Are the Streets, which examined radicalisation among Muslim youths in Sheffield and The Year of the Runaways, which, released in 2015, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The novel explores global issues of identity, belonging and culture through the lives of three male immigrants who arrive in twenty-first century Sheffield.