“What does it mean to be a black man in Britain?”: Courttia Newland on his latest novel and the struggle to get it published

“The novelist and screenwriter discusses science fiction, the human soul and working with Steve McQueen on the BBC’s Small Axe series. Courttia Newland was in his mid-twenties when he had his first out-of-body experience. Following the publication of his debut novel, The Scholar (1997), he lived in a shared flat in Ladbroke Grove, west London. One night, “I had this panic attack where I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see, and for some reason, instead of fighting, I decided to just relax,” he said. Calmly, he had the sense that he had left his body and was looking down at it as it lay on his bed. Night terrors were not new to Newland – he had experienced them as a teenager. But previously he had always made sure he woke up; never before had he allowed himself to be carried along by the event.”

Article by Ellen Peirson-Hagger

Photo by Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz

Source: https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/observations/2021/01/courttia-newland-river-called-time-afrofuturism-steve-mcqueen-small-axe

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