Young writer S K Perry joins line-up for Brighton’s Big Read

SK Perry. Picture by Naomi Woddis
SK Perry. Picture by Naomi Woddis

The BIG READ for Brighton & Hove is back as part of Brighton Festival 2019 – and at 29 years old, S K Perry is the youngest writer ever chosen for City Reads.

Sarah Hutchings, artistic director of City Reads, said: “Let Me Be Like Water is an exquisite, lyrical meditation on grief and romantic loss. As soon as I started reading it, I was struck by the grace and strength of Sarah’s writing. She writes about Brighton with heart and passion, using the city’s glorious imperfections to remind us all why we are drawn here. It was a joy to read. We are delighted to be welcoming Sarah to Brighton & Hove in May to discuss this dazzling, poignant novel with readers across the City.”

In the book, having impulsively escaped to Brighton following the death of her boyfriend Sam, songwriter Holly is now in a state of limbo.

“The solitude she had so craved in London leaves her feeling stranded and alone in her grief. It is when she meets Frank, a retired gay magician that the tide begins to turn. Frank has experienced his own heartbreak and offers Holly companionship and solace.

“Gradually, as she is introduced to his eclectic group of friends, all with their own stories, she starts to heal. Let Me Be Like Water is a book simultaneously about nothing and everything: about the humdrum yet extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.”

S K Perry was born in Croydon in 1990 and remembers writing an essay in primary school about wanting to be a cave woman when she grew up. She has been a resident artist at the Roundhouse in Camden, a Young Writer in Residence for Cityread (London) and has delivered creative writing workshops for PEN International. When the first draft of this novel was shortlisted for the Mslexia Prize, she met her agent Laura West, and the finished book Let Me Be Like Water was published in HB in 2018 by Melville House UK. She currently lives in Leeds and is working on her second novel.