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09 July 2024, 19:00

Michael Donkor on Grow Where They Fall

"Hugely enjoyable and very moving, Donkor's frank, clear-eyed and funny prose is so refreshing - an important voice in contemporary British fiction."

— Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People

Join us for a discussion with Michael Donkor about his deeply moving new novel Grow Where The Fall. In conversation with Adam Biles.

Free & open to all. Places limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Most events take place on our first floor, which is accessible by stairs. If you have any concerns about access, please don't hesitate to contact us.


From the Desmond Elliot Prize-shortlisted and Dylan Thomas Prize-longlisted author of Hold comes a beautifully written, spirited and deeply moving novel about a young man coming to terms with his past and finding the courage to expand the limits of who he might become. An exploration of identity, sexuality, and family, following one south London character between his 90s childhood and his present-day adulthood.


Michael Donkor was born in London, to Ghanaian parents. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. His first novel, Hold, was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prizes. He is a frequent contributor for outlets including the Guardian, the TLS and the Independent.


Bright and precocious ten-year-old Kwame Akromah knows how to behave. He knows the importance of good manners, how to stay at the top of the class and out of the way when his mother and father are angry with each other. But when his charismatic cousin Yaw arrives from Ghana to live with the family while he looks for work, the rules Kwame has learned about the world can no longer guide him.

Twenty years later, Kwame is a secondary-school teacher, popular with his students and depended on by his friends. His is a life spent elegantly weaving between the classroom, the labyrinth of Grindr politics and increasingly intermittent visits to his parents' home. Behind the confident façade, however, he is as driven by caution as he was as a boy. But when electrifying changemaker Marcus Felix is appointed as headteacher, Kwame must reckon with himself as he never has before. Can he face the ghosts of his childhood? How will he learn to move through the world without losing who he is? And where does existing stop and living begin?

Michael Donkor Credit David Yiu
“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”