Related to: 'The F Word'

Sceptre

My Past Is a Foreign Country

Zeba Talkhani
Authors:
Zeba Talkhani

27-year-old Zeba Talkhani charts her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia amid patriarchal customs reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, and her journey to find freedom abroad in India, Germany and the UK as a young woman.Talkhani offers a fresh perspective on living as an outsider and examines her relationship with her mother and the challenges she faced when she experienced hair loss at a young age. Rejecting the traditional path her culture had chosen for her, Talkhani became financially independent and married on her own terms in the UK. Drawing on her personal experiences Talkhani shows how she fought for the right to her individuality as a feminist Muslim and refused to let negative experiences define her.

Alice Judge-Talbot

Alice Judge-Talbot is a blogger, writer and entrepreneur from Buckinghamshire, a quiet place she found herself in when she became a single mum to two under two at the age of twenty-seven. She started her blog in 2009 when she found herself pregnant in a group of friends where 'Mum' was a word used for the woman you called when you broke up with your boyfriend, knowing nobody in her real life had even an inkling of a baby on the horizon. Since then, Alice has written frankly, funnily and emotively on the subjects that affect mums the world over: from pregnancy and childbirth to post-natal depression, divorce and life as a single mother. She is now the thriving and proud mother of a five and seven year-old, writing a successful blog called More Than Toast as well as a column for the Telegraph, and she has thankfully worked out what day the bins go out.

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn't until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. FOUR is his fourth novel, but should probably be his tenth. Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.

Clare Pooley

Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. Clare lives in Fulham, London with her long-suffering husband, three children, dog and a cupboard filled with alcohol-free beer.Clare is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy.

Eleanor O’Reilly

Eleanor O'Reilly is a teacher of English and Classical Studies who has just completed an MA in Creative Writing, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Having first started writing five years ago, she has received several literary prizes, including the 2015 RTE Francis McManus Radio Short Story Award and the 2013 William Trevor International Short Story Award, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the 2016 Colm Toibin Literary Award. She lives in Ireland with her husband Brian Kelly, their daughter Ella Kelly, and a whole menagerie of pets. M for Mammy is her debut novel.

Emily Dean

Emily Dean is a writer and radio presenter. She is Frank Skinner's co-host on the award-winning Frank Skinner Show (Absolute Radio) and currently presents a hugely successful podcast for The Times called Walking the Dog. She spent eight years as Deputy Editor of InStyle magazine and has written for titles such as The Times, the Evening Standard and You magazine. She lives in London, supports Arsenal and her career highlight was when Mark Gatiss called her 'sci-fi royalty' due to her childhood role in BBC cult series Day of the Triffids.

Fern Riddell

Dr Fern Riddell is a historian specialising in sex, suffrage and culture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She appears regularly on TV and radio, and writes for the Guardian, Huffington Post, Telegraph and Times Higher Education among others, and is a columnist for BBC History Magazine.

Gemma Hartley

Gemma Hartley is a freelance journalist who received her BA in English Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her work has been published in Glamour, The Washington Post, Harper's Bazaar, Women's Health, and The Huffington Post amongmany others. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and three children.

Hannah Jewell

Hannah Jewell is a video journalist at The Washington Post covering pop culture, politics, and more. She formerly worked at BuzzFeed UK, where she was known for her writing about gender and her satire of British and American politics.

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews writes fiction and poetry. She grew up in Sunderland and has spent time living in Santa Cruz, Paris, Donegal, Barcelona and London. She has been published by the Independent, Somesuch Stories, AnOther, Caught by the River, Shabby Doll House and Papaya Press, among others. She teaches Literature and Creative Writing classes and co-runs literary magazine The Grapevine, which aims to give a platform to under-represented writers.jessica-andrews.com

Katie Kirby

My name is Katie and I live with my husband and two young sons by the sea In Brighton. I started blogging on a whim one night, probably under the influence of gin after a bad day. Through 'Hurrah For Gin' I try to give a real and humorous account of parenting young children - the happy, the sad, the good and the bad. You can visit my site www.hurrahforgin.com, like me on facebook www.facebook.com/hurrahforgin and follow me on on twitter @hurrahforgin

Ken Blanchard

Ken Blanchard is Chief Spiritual Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Ken Blanchard Companies. He is the author of a dozen bestselling books - including the blockbuster international bestseller The One Minute Manager and the giant business best-sellers Raving Fans and Gung Ho! - which have combined sales of more than 12 million copies in more than twenty-five languages. He is married with two children and lives in San Diego, California.

Mike Gayle

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as 'full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,' and by The Times as 'a funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic'. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.You can find him online at mikegayle.co.uk and on Twitter @mikegayle.

Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner is the Relationship Lead at Youthscape - a national youthwork organisation - responsible for pioneering new ways to engage young people in healthy relationships. A bestselling author of a number of books for young people, Rachel speaks widely on youth and faith-related topics. Outside of her role at Youthscape, Rachel is the President of the Girl's Brigade England and Wales.

Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons is the bestselling author of THE SIXTY MINUTE GRANDPARENT, TEENAGERS! and THE SIXTY MINUTE FATHER. He speaks internationally on family issues and is the Executive Chairman of Care for the Family, a charity committed to strengthening family life and helping others who are hurting due to family breakdown.Care for the Family, launched by Rob in 1988, is a registered charity and its work is motivated by Christian compassion. The resources and support it provides are available to everyone, of any faith or none.Rob lives in Cardiff with his wife Dianne. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson is the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the MSP for Edinburgh Central. First elected in 2011, she won the party leadership later that same year, becoming - at the age of 32 - the youngest leader of a major political party anywhere in the UK as well as the first openly gay leader in UK history.Prior to politics, Ruth worked as a journalist. Starting in newspapers, she moved into broadcasting. Spending the majority of her career at the BBC, she worked variously as a presenter, producer, reporter and documentary maker.She lives in Edinburgh with her fiancé, Jen and their cocker spaniel, Wilson. The couple are expecting their first child imminently.

Sameer Rahim

Sameer Rahim has worked in literary journalism for ten years, and is now managing editor of Prospect Magazine, having been formerly arts and books editor. In 2013, his essay In the Shadow of the Scroll: reconstructing Islam's origins won a William Hazlitt essay prize.

Simon Hooper

For 40% of the day, Simon works as a management consultant. For 100% of the day, Simon is a father to his 4 daughters. 40% and 100% don't quite add up, because being a parent isn't something you can turn off. Even when you're at work there are emails about gymnastic classes, paying lunch fees, providing instructions on how to work the overly complicated smart TV and other various parent life admin. Now, Simon has committed another 40% of the day to social media and engaging with his hundreds of thousands of followers about real life parenting challenges. He still works 40% of the day as a management consultant too. He also spends 20% of the time clearing up and doing DIY jobs, while being a dad 100% of the time - yes, that's 200% of the time he's doing something which goes some way to explain why he hasn't slept for 10 years and has a forehead covered in so many lines, you could mistake it for a ploughed field. With the small sliver of remaining time Simon does find, he likes to spend time on 'secret projects' in the shed (no one is yet to actually see any results from these projects) and cycles - basically things that give him time on his own, a brief reprieve from a life surrounded and outnumbered by girls.

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and four collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. She delivered the Schelling Lecture in Aesthetics in Munich in 2010, the Freud Lecture in Vienna in 2011 and the opening keynote at the conference to mark Kierkegaard's 200th anniversary in Copenhagen in 2013, while her latest honorary doctorate is from the University of Gutenburg in Germany. She is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and several exhibition catalogues.

Zeba Talkhani

Zeba Talkhani has written for the Saudi Gazette, The Manipal Journal, gal-dem, Wasafiri and the Nasty Women anthology. She works in publishing and is a passionate advocate for BAME voices in the publishing industry. She was born in Sirsi, South India, in 1991. She currently lives in London.