Derby, United Kingdom
Sahota was born in 1981 in Derby, and his family moved to Chesterfield when he was seven years old. His paternal grandparents had emigrated to Britain from the Punjab in 1966. After finishing school, Sahota studied mathematics at Imperial College London. As of January 2011[update], he was working in marketing for the insurance company Aviva.
Sahota had not read a novel until he was 18 years old, when he read Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children while visiting relatives in India before starting university. He bought the book in the airport before flying to India. While he had studied English literature at GCSE level, the course did not require students to read a novel:
We had to do a Shakespeare, and we did Macbeth. We had to do a pre 20th-century text, and we did a play, She Stoops to Conquer. We had to do poetry and we did Yevgeny Yevtushenko. But no novels.
It was like I was making up for lost time – not that I had to catch up, but it was as though I couldn't quite believe this world of storytelling I had found and I wanted to get as much of it down me as I possibly could.
In 2013 he was included in the Granta list of 20 best young writers,.
Sahota's first novel, Ours are the Streets, was published in January 2011 by Picador. He wrote the book in the evenings and at weekends because of his day job. The novel tells the story of a British Pakistani youth who becomes a suicide bomber. Sahota was prompted to start writing the book by the 7 July 2005 London bombings. According to the Sheffield Telegraph, the book is "being mentioned in literary supplements as one of the novels to look out for in 2011". Ours are the Streets has been reviewed in a number of national newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Sunday Times.
- "Sunjeev Sahota". Picador. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "Terrorist plot in city". Sheffield Telegraph. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Kappala-Ramsamy, Gemma; Day, Elizabeth; Skidelsky, William; Carter, Imogen (16 January 2011). "Faces to watch – Britain's cultural debutantes". The Observer. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- Ahad, Nick (14 January 2011). "Interview – Sunjeev Sahota: Student of maths makes it all add up". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Richmond, Tom (2 January 2011). "The ones to watch: we pick the people who will make it a year to remember". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Sunjeev Sahota at Picador