Gurnaik Johal

Gurnaik Johal

Gurnaik Johal is a writer from West London. He was shortlisted for The Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize in 2018 and graduated from The University of Manchester in 2019. He works in children’s publishing.

Gurnaik’s iconic London debut, We Move, is published by Serpent’s Tail.

Praise for We Move:

‘A debut collection of such precocity and aplomb that it stands comparison to the likes of Junot Díaz and Bryan Washington’ Observer

‘These are excellent stories, told with skill and verve. Gurnaik Johal has a sharp eye for details, an ear for the gaps and evasions in real dialogue, and a heart for the hopes and regrets that carry us through our lives. But most of all, he has the instincts of a storyteller, and in We Move he has put those instincts to great effect’ ― Jon McGregor

‘Delicate, controlled and moving portraits of the strange, poignant dislocation wrought by both distance and proximity’ ― Colin Barrett

‘Moving, truthful, straight from the heart (and a very capacious heart too), the stories in WE MOVE announce the arrival of a promising young writer we will be talking about for years to come. Gurnaik Johal, welcome.’ ― Neel Mukherjee

‘An assured and profoundly humane collection, rich in character and story. Johal relocates the human comedy to contemporary Southall and weaves in threads from the past and far across the world’ ― Jo Lloyd, author of The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies

‘A whole universe of lives intricately connected and woven together in a way that is wholly surprising and unobvious’ ― Huma Qureshi, author of Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love


We Move @@GurnaikJohal

Cool to see We Move in this thanks to @MyBiggestLuke 🪩

Couldn’t be more thrilled that ⁦@GurnaikJohal⁩’s We Move is a Guardian Book of the Year! 💃 Congratulations, Gurnaik! 🌟⭐️

We Move is a Guardian Book of the Year!

So delighted to see that We Move by @GurnaikJohal has won the First Book Award at Literature Live! ✨ Huge congratulations Gurnaik! 🎉🎉🎉

So happy the stories are connecting with readers in India!

Virtually appearing at Mumbai Lit Fest this thurs - it’s a great lineup!

Presenting the shortlist for the Tata Lit Live! First Book Award (Fiction).

Congratulations @NeemaMShah @GurnaikJohal @vauhinivara

The Tata Literature Live! First Book Award (Fiction) recognises exceptional talent in the Indian Literary space. Presenting the longlist for 2022.

@vauhinivara @prettynous @NeemaMShah @sonalkoh @GurnaikJohal @saeed_naqvijour

📣Join us today from 1-4pm at the #SaveAlaa sit-in at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (Tube: Westminster) for READINGS IN SOLIDARITY WITH ALAA presented by @FitzcarraldoEds on Day 210 of British writer & Prisoner Of Conscience @alaa’s hungerstrike in #Egypt

This event was a real favourite - 4 fantastic writers talking about their craft, their ideas & inspirations, & also cracking each other up. Nothing beats a good laugh on stage! Thank you all & @southbanklondon for having me 💛

A brilliant evening at @southbankcentre London Literature Festival last night for WE MOVE: Debut London Literature ✨🔥 @GurnaikJohal @Sheena_Patel_ @TheLeano @JamesCahill

Don't miss the incredible #WeMove author @GurnaikJohal at what will be smashing event at @litsouthbank tomorrow!

First things first: WE MOVE: DEBUT LONDON LITERATURE - with a line-up that all the fire emojis in the world couldn’t do justice to, but 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

@octaviabright_ @Sheena_Patel_ @GurnaikJohal @TheLeano @JamesCahill

20/10, 7.45pm

Our 2022/23 Short Story Prize is open – but only until the 16th, so get your skates on!

While we’re here, a huge round of applause for last year’s winning author and story, Gurnaik Johal and his exquisite story, ‘Arrival’:

On the opening night of London Literature Festival, celebrate debut titles from some of the city’s most exciting writers including @JamesCahill, @GurnaikJohal, @TheLeano and @Sheena_Patel_

Thursday 20 October, 7.45pm, Purcell Room: Excited to be speaking at the London Literature Festival @litsouthbank along with debut authors @GurnaikJohal Arji Manuelpillai (@TheLeano) @Sheena_Patel_ with @octaviabright_ - tickets here! 👇

Really looking forward to visiting Cork next week for this 💚

This week’s Scratch Classic is ‘Eveline’ - James Joyce’s story of daunting new possibilities. With an introduction from the brilliant @GurnaikJohal!