An outstanding new voice in British literature, whose novel Graffiti My Soul is a heart-breaking story of youthful love and tragic loss.  This is Surrey where nothing bad ever happens. Except somehow 15 year-old Veerapen, half Tamil, half-Jew and the fastest runner in the school has just helped bury Moon Suzuki, the girl he loved. His Dad has run off with an optician and his Mum’s going off the rails; then there’s his trainer, who’s has been accused of kiddie-fiddling. Since when did growing up in the suburbs get this complicated?

As the knots of Moon and Veerapen’s tragic story unfold, Niven Govinden brings to life a misfit hero of the school gates, bristling with tenderness, venom and vigour. Graffiti My Soul is a hip, rich big-hearted book full of unexpected twists and inspiring humanity.


Niven Govinden is the author of five previous novels, most recently This Brutal House, which was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize and shortlisted for the Polari and Gordon Burn Prizes. His next venture is Leather Bar ’79, a publishing imprint giving voice to queer writers of colour, launching in 2021.

Books in order of publication:

We Are the New Romantics – 2004

Graffiti My Soul – 2007

A Fiesta – 2011

Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, Volume 4 – 2011

Black Bread White Beer – 2012

Happy Birthday to Me: A contemporary collection of Asian literature and interviews – 2012

All the Days and Nights – 2014

This Brutal House – 2019

Diary of a Film – 2021