Biography

Mona Arshi was born in West London, where she still lives. She worked as a human rights lawyer with Liberty for a decade before receiving a master’s in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. Her debut poetry collection Small Hands was published in 2015, winning the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Mona Arshi regularly appears on BBC Radio 4. Her poems have been published in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the Times of India and most recently the London Underground.

Reviews

Roger Robinson

‘A sharply drawn world of wonder in elegant and lean prose. A fresh, innovative novel that is an ode to families, coming of age and sisterhood.’

Jeet Thayil 

‘Mona Arshi uses the shape and heft of prose poetry to extend the novel into unexpected new terrain. Tender, funny, and exhilarating.’

Preti Taneja

‘Somebody Loves You is alive with rare subtlety and tensile strength, and infused with the kind of beauty that brings every quiet moment into sharp relief.’

Salena Godden

‘A truly enriching read, Somebody Loves You is a glorious debut novel. I took this book with me everywhere and kept returning to it. I loved every perfect choice of word and turn of phrase in this vivid and tender, poetic and beautiful book.’

Jessica J Lee

‘Mona Arshi writes with curiosity, gentleness, and a keen eye for how even the smallest details of daily life can carry meaning. In form and content, this is a gleaming, quiet novel cut through with remarkable confidence. Reading Somebody Loves You was like being rocked gently – and then shaken entirely awake.’

Bhanu Kapil

‘Something flows through this book at the deepest level: experiences of love, care, memory and intimacy. Written with the poetic capacity to articulate the unsaid and the unknown; an extraordinary novel of the day, the night, the garden and life.’

Andrew McMillan

‘Each sentence has the cadence of poetry, each phrase perfectly chosen, each word correctly weighed. This is a novel which reminds us memory and narrative are often not complete but rather are crystallised glimpses, which turn like a kaleidoscope through our mind.’


Booksellers love Somebody Loves You

  ‘A masterful, subtle and heartbreaking novel - I loved it.’ Jo Heygate, Pages of Hackney
‘A beautiful gem of a story, which explores the vicissitudes of youth with an understated elegance, wit and insight.’ Fiona Kennedy, The Pitshanger Bookshop
‘Mona Arshi's talent lies in the perfect balance between the harshness of the story and the bewitching atmosphere of her prose. Beautifully devastating.’ Giulia Lenti, Foyles Waterloo
‘An astutely observant portrait of the world from a girl who doesn't speak, Somebody Loves You is a novel built by the power of memories, nostalgia, and sisterhood. Arshi expresses the gravity of mental health in wonderfully written poetic prose which is absolutely captivating from start to finish. She transforms fleeting childhood moments into the unforgettable.’ Lauren Steele, Waterstones Crouch End
‘Like the proverbs Ruby carefully keeps in her notebook, Arshi’s chapters have a pearly, iridescent quality - tender, lyrical, with a quiet humour and a dark sting in the tail. You want to turn each sentence over in your hand in case it looks different from another angle. Properly sublime writing.’ Ben Pope, Review Bookshop
‘I jumped into Somebody Loves You with little to no idea of what to expect, and found myself unable to put it down. The voice of Ruby - sister, daughter of immigrants, brown, observant, mute - is powerfully crafted. A great read for lovers of poetry and prose alike.’ Mariana Calderon, Savoy Bookshop & Café
‘Somebody Loves You is elegant and elusive, and also completely brilliant. Each of its precise little vignettes holds an act of micro-resistance against the banality and violence of the world.’ Tom Robinson, Gloucester Road Books
‘An ambitious and richly imagined debut. Quite unlike anything I’ve ever read.’ Callum McAllister, Storysmith
   

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