DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

Wednesday 19th June, 7.30pm. Steyning Centre, Saxon Room

At the age of eight, Iranian-born novelist Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother.  Eventually she was granted asylum in America, where she made her way to Princeton.

Nayeri will be discussing the refugee experience, and its public and political perception, which is the subject of her powerful new book The Ungrateful Refugee. Weaving her own moving story with the accounts of other refugees, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, this book should be compulsory reading for all policy-makers!

Among the vivid stories in the book we see a couple fall in love over the phone, women gathering to prepare noodles that remind them of home, a closeted queer man trying to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempting to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.

Here are the real human stories of what it is like to be forced to flee your home, and to journey across borders in the hope of starting afresh.

“Dina Nayeri has written a vital book for our times. The Ungrateful Refugee gives voice to those whose stories are too often lost or suppressed. Braiding memoir, reportage and essayism, Nayeri allows those fortunate enough never to have been stateless or displaced to glimpse something of the hardships and subtleties of refugee experience. Written with compassion, tenderness and a burning anger, her book appears at the end of a decade in which division and dislocation have risen to a terrible pitch. It speaks powerfully from – and to – the heart. Please read it.”
Robert MacfarlaneUnderland, Landmarks

Dina Nayeri’s debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated into 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, and an MBA from Harvard. Her article The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay’ in The Guardian has exceeded 80k shares.

Tickets are £10 to include a £5 voucher towards book purchase.

Tickets available from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062 or direct from Ticketsource.

A licensed bar will serve wine, beer and soft drinks.

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DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

‘The Crossway’ An Evening with GUY STAGG

Tuesday 18th June at 7.30pm. The Gluck Studio

‘An extraordinary travelogue, strange and brilliant’

In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres.

The Crossway is Guy’s account of this extraordinary adventure. Having left home on New Year’s Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families.

As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him. The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author’s struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.

We are really looking forward to hearing Guy Stagg discussing his journey, with photographic slides.
Beautifully written, filled with strange encounters and extraordinary language, The Crossway is a meditation, an escape, a confrontation, a losing and a finding. It is a timely antidote to our disconnected times.‘ Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan.

A signed paperback copy of The Crossway is included in the ticket price of £12.

Tickets are available via Ticketsource or direct from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062.

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DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’


Tuesday 18th June, 2-4pm. The Gluck Studio

Novelist and creative writing coach Beth Miller will lead aspiring writers in a 2 hour workshop focussing on story and character development.

With lashings of tea and home-made cake to keep the creative juices flowing!

Beth Miller has published 5 books – 3 novels; The Good Neighbour, When We Were Sisters, and The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom, and 2 non fiction books; For the Love of the Archers and For the Love of Shakespeare. She also teaches on the Creative Writing Programme based at New Writing South, and works as a ‘book coach’, helping writers at all stages of their careers in one-on-one sessions.

Beth helped me find the confidence and clarity in my writing to spur me on to complete my novel.” Martin Nathan, author of the novel A Place of Safety, published by Salt, June 2018.

Places on the workshop are limited to 15 participants, so do book early to avoid disappointment! Book here with Ticketsource or by phone / in person at The Steyning Bookshop.

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DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

An Evening with Lucy Foley

Monday 17th June at 7.30pm. The Gluck Studio.

Author Lucy Foley will discuss her latest novel The Hunting Party, a fiendishly twisty murder mystery set in a remote Scottish hunting lodge. Bringing all of the appeal of an Agatha Christie-style house-party whodunit to a thoroughly modern thriller, it is a riveting read which will keep you turning the pages long after lights out!

A group of thirty-something friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands – the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead…..

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels; The Book of Lost and Found, The Invitation, and Last Letter from Istanbul. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

‘Chilling. You won’t sleep.’ – Adele Parks

`Foley builds the tension cleverly and creepily, underlining the point that old friends aren’t always the best’ – The Observer

Tickets available at The Steyning Bookshop or online via Ticketsource.

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DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’


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Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw-Along.

Sunday 16th June. Doors open at 10.30 for bacon butties and coffee. Big Draw-along starts at 11am. 

After the fabulous fun we had at last year’s Steyning Festival event, our favourite illustrator / writer, Nick Sharratt, is back for a Fantastic Father’s Day Family-Friendly-Fun-Filled hour of drawing.

Bring your favourite pens. Paper will be provided.

Free coffee and bacon butties for dads!

Adults £7 Children £5.


Tickets are available from the Steyning Bookshop or online this link to Ticketsource

Book now