A profound attempt to rebuild faith in human compassion after a terrorist attack, and an extraordinary recommitment to the politics of abolition, activism and radical hope. From the Desmond Elliott-winning author of We That Are Young.
Usman Khan was convicted of terrorism-related offences at age 20 and spent eight years in high-security prison. In November of 2019, a year after his release, Khan was allowed to travel to London to attend a prison education conference at Fishmongers’ Hall. For a time he sat with the others there, some of whom he knew. He then retrieved the fake bomb vest and knives that he’d hidden in the bathroom and taped the knives to his wrists. He went on to kill two people: Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt.
Novelist Preti Taneja taught creative writing to Khan in prison. Merritt was her colleague. Through a wreckage of grief, doubt, and political fury, in the aftermath of an atrocity that shattered all trust, Taneja dived into writing as an act of survival. What emerges is a profound attempt to rebuild faith in human compassion and an extraordinary recommitment to the politics of abolition, activism and radical hope.