afshan has an essay featured in Flipped Eye’s new anthology Not Quite Right For Us.

A celebration of outsiderness and an ode to otherness, Not Quite Right For Us is a singular collection of stories, essays and poems by a dynamic mix of established and surging voices alike, edited by Sharmilla Beezmohun.

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Not quite right for us: the dismissive, casual disdain of the phrase will be all too familiar to anyone who has felt the sting of unjust exclusion, whether in the classroom or the workplace, at home or abroad, through the words of strangers or even loved ones.

In forty essays, short stories and poems – by turns wry, gentle, furious, humorous, passionate, analytical and elliptical – this theme is interpreted by a dynamic mix of new and established writers alike. Aminatta Forna, Colin Grant, Xiaolu Guo, John Hegley, Raman Mundair, Johny Pitts, Olive Senior, Tim Wells and others evoke their experiences of outsider-ness in its myriad forms, and their defiance against it.

Celebrating ten years of the literature organisation Speaking Volumes, this anthology is a cri du cœur, a warning shot, an affirmation, an education in forty works. It will resonate with readers who understand where it’s coming from, or who are allied to its purpose, or – hopefully – who are ready for some unexpected lessons in empathy.

‘An important anthology that spans generations, circles the globe, and embraces all forms of imaginative writing. Uplifting and inspiring’ -Caryl Phillips

‘Speaking volumes has always had a knack for choosing talented writers and providing them with support, coaching and agency. In this anthology, you can see the stars of the future standing back-to-back with the stars of today’ – Roger Robinson