Interview - Author Sophie Hardach

First Writes: Sophie Hardach, author of The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages

Author of The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages

Give us five words to describe The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages?
Kurdish odyssey with Parisian denouement.

What was the first book you read?

A Hello Kitty picture book. Does that count as reading? I think it does. I’m a big fan of graphic novels and cinematic writing, so the Hello Kitty picture book was clearly a major literary influence.

Which book makes you cry?

Sensei no Kaban by Hiromi Kawakami. I started crying during the chapter where the retired teacher finally declares his love to lonely Tsukiko, and didn’t stop until the glossary.

Which book makes you laugh?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole because it is funny and sad, and because meeting the protagonist, Ignatius J Reilly, was like looking into a fairground mirror.

What one thing would you change about the publishing world?

I would scrap the author’s nationality from the entry criteria of prizes and awards: what matters is the book and where it was published, not where the author was born.

What plans do you have for book number two?

I’m working on a novel about conscientious objectors during World War Two. It’s surprising how controversial the subject remains more than 60 years on, given that such respect for freedom of conscience is something Britain can be proud of.

The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages is published by Simon & Schuster on Friday 1 April.

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