Sukh Ojla has written her debut novel.
The titular character is a 30-year-old woman who has just moved back in to the family home and continues to live her serial-dating life in secret, while all her friends are moving out and moving on with their lives.
But Sunny's mother discovers her secret and offers a compromise: she can continue dating, as long as her mother gets to choose who she sees. Now, after each date, rather than sneaking upstairs in the dark, trying not to wake her parents, Sunny comes home to find her mother sitting at the kitchen table with two cups of tea, waiting for the debrief. Through these dates, Sunny might just discover more about herself, and her mum, than she'd ever thought possible.
Ojla announced the news by tweeting: "brb just alternating between crying and laughing hysterically".
In a statement, she added: "There is nothing that brings me more joy than picking up a book where I recognise myself in the characters, but as a working class, British Punjabi child of immigrant parents, my experience is not often reflected in books. I am writing this novel for those of us who have ever been made to feel like an outsider for not following the well-trodden path, and I hope Sunny will speak to other 30-something women and serve as a reminder that you are not alone."
Sara Adams, Hodder Studio's editorial director for fiction, said: "Sukh Ojla's Sunny is exactly the novel I've needed to read and have been desperate to publish for so long - it is timely, hilarious and raw. Within the first few pages, I felt like I'd known Sunny for years - her story is the story of every woman who has led a double life, trying to fit in and be accepted into two different worlds, while also trying to accept herself for who she is. Sukh is a complete talent, and she's going to set the fiction world alight - we're so delighted to be publishing her stunning debut novel."
Ojla, who played the recurring role of Nurse Barrett in Tom Binns' BBC One sitcom Hospital People, is making her first appearance on Mock The Week later this month. She took her debut solo stand-up show For Sukh's Sake to the Edinburgh Fringe last year and will be touring her latest show, Life Sukhs, in 2021. Her first play Pyar Actually toured nationwide in 2017 and 2018.
Here's a clip of Ojla performing stand-up about moving back home for the BBC's Asian Network:
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