It's a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. The boy's mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?
Bernardine Evaristo is the author of four novels, Lara, The Emperor's Babe, Soul Tourists and Blonde Roots, which was chosen as the winner by the inaugural Orange Prize Youth Panel. Evaristo was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she was awarded an MBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List. She lives in London.