From the outside, Pizzeria Vesuvio seems just like any other pizza place in West London: a buzzy, cheerful Italian spot on a street where cooks from Sri Lanka rub shoulders with waitstaff from Spain, Georgia, Wales, Poland and more. But upstairs, on the battered leather sofas, lives are being altered drastically and often illegally, as money, legal aid, safe passage and hope are dealt out under the table to those deemed worthy. Set in the opening years of the 21st century, against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war and its outpouring of refugees to Britain, You People asks the big questions at a time of bewildering flux. What price do we put on life, on freedom, and the right to love in an age defined by seismic political change?
About the Author
NIKITA LALWANI is a contemporary British novelist whose work has been translated into sixteen languages. Her first novel, Gifted--the story of a child prodigy of Indian origin growing up in Wales--was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, and won the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction. Her second, The Village, was modeled on a real-life "prison village" in northern India, and won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Nikita wrote the opening essay for AIDS Sutra, an anthology exploring the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in India and is a trustee of the Civil Liberties Trust, a human rights organization.