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Information on current writing projects

When You’re Smiling

Leicester, England, May 2016. While the country debates writing a new future for itself by bringing its European chapter to a close, the locals are gripped by their football team’s miraculous bid to rewrite sporting history. In the meantime, all across the city, many more stories of division and unity, loss and love, and struggle and victory are being told.

One of these tales belongs to Hasina Fayrouz, a teacher whose unhappy childhood was transformed by the so-called ‘beautiful game’. But while football gave her a new relationship with Javed, her father, it put her at odds with Najmabibi, her mother, whose life was scarred by the ugly side of it. As the football frenzy reaches fever pitch, the arrival of unexpected news forces Hasina and Najmabibi to confront their past. Can they do it without falling apart?

Set over the course of one day and featuring a vibrant cast of characters – from the teen drama queen with a crush on the team’s captain and the widow desperate to fill the gaping hole left in her life by her husband’s departure, to the accidental gambler stuck between a rock and a potentially very lucrative hard place to the gardening imam in love – When You’re Smiling is a warm, witty, and politically astute exploration of identity, belonging, and what it takes to win against the odds.

Status: manuscript completed; seeking representation and publication.