What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? Friendship, Identity and History in Modern Multicultural Britain

Hardback (03 Aug 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis


'A brilliantly enlightening book . . . at times moving, at others ironic, full of insights and detail'
Michael Rosen

'A kaleidoscopic portrait of the UK . . . with insight and compassion'
Irish Times

Our names are so mundane that we barely notice them. Yet each contains countless stories of tradition and belonging - be that a legacy of colonialism or persecution, the desire to fit in, or the complex cultural inheritance from one's parents.

In What's in a Name?, Sheela Banerjee unravels the personal histories of friends and family through their names. And while tracing their heritage across centuries and continents - from west London to British India, and from 1960s Jamaica to pre-Revolutionary Russia - Sheela also tells the story of twentieth-century immigration to the UK.

Blending history, memoir and politics, What's in a Name? is a celebration of Britain's rich multiculturalism, an ode to friendship and a testament to all the stories held within our names.

'Absolutely fascinating . . . the stories woven into this superb book will stay with me for a long time. I cannot recommend it highly enough'
Priscilla Morris, author of Black Butterflies

'A compelling combination of personal stories and social histories, told with great heart, wit and detail'
Preeti Dhillon, author of The Shoulders We Stand On

About the Publisher



Sceptre is the literary imprint of Hodder & Stoughton bringing you thought-provoking, award-winning and critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction.

Book information

ISBN: 9781529367591
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Imprint: Sceptre
Pub date:
DEWEY: 325.42
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 442g
Height: 146mm
Width: 224mm
Spine width: 31mm