Author Amit Dhand tells Swanwick writers how his family tackled racial prejudice

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Best-selling author Amit Dhand began his presentation at Swanwick Writers Conference by describing how as the first Asian family to arrive in his part of

Bradford they were met with outright hostility, writes R.Y. Bishop.

Almost 50% of their customers cancelled their newspapers. Their shop windows were repeatedly smashed. Grinning youths stood by drinking cider.

Amit’s stalwart father joined them, can of lager in hand, reasoned with them and ended by employing some of them as paper delivery boys.

Then followed a period of gradual integration.

Amit qualified as a pharmacist and opened his own shop in which he not only works full time, but manages to write an astonishing 6,000 words every day. He could not contemplate giving up his shop. He values his relationship with his customers too highly.

His path to writing success was long and daunting. Rejection followed rejection. He remained undaunted. There was never a trace of disillusionment. Neither was any sign of resentment or self pity over the racial prejudice he had experienced. Instead he was humorous throughout. His timing would be the envy of many a stand up comedian? He had a wonderful smile, used sparingly: sometimes gleefully, sometimes ruefully.

He kept his large audience enthralled.

I cannot wait to read his novels.