BOOKS: PICK OF THE WEEK - Oonya Kempadoo & Shyama Perera

Thur Filthy McNastys, London EC1
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The Independent Culture
Oonya Kempadoo's first novel, Buxton Spice (Phoenix, pounds 5.99), which the author will read from in Islington on Thursday, is the tale of four girls growing up and growing apart in Seventies Guyana. Rooted in vibrant village life and set against the backdrop of the country's corrupt socialist dictatorship, the novel grew out of stories Kempadoo told her husband and son of her childhood in Guyana.

Kempadoo is joined at the event by Shyama Perera, who also used her childhood as inspiration for her first novel, Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet (Sceptre, pounds 6.99). To give life to eight-year-old Mala and her gang, she's drawn on her experience as a Sri Lankan living in the ethnic melting-pot of 1960s Bayswater, not so much on the breadline as well below it.

Stories of friends, laughter and longing - what better recipe for a night out?

Filthy McNastys, 68 Amwell Street, London EC1 (0171-837 6067), Thur, 9pm, free

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