Rahila Gupta

Non-fiction writer


Rahila Gupta is a freelance journalist and writer. Her latest book, a dramatic monologue, Don’t Wake Me: the ballad of Nihal Armstrong, was published in 2013. An abridged version of this ballad was produced and toured as a theatre piece in London and the South-east and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013. It was nominated for Best New Play for the Off-West End awards in 2014.

She has contributed short stories and poems to many anthologies and journals. She co-edited with Rukhsana Ahmad a collection of short stories by Asian women, Flaming Spirit (Virago, 1994). With Kiranjit Ahluwalia she wrote Circle of Light (HarperCollins, 1997), ‘the story of a battered woman who killed her violent husband’, and co-scripted the feature film Provoked, which was based on the book and released in 2007. As a journalist, she writes for the Guardian and openDemocracy among other papers and websites.

She was a member of the writing team on Westway, an award-winning drama series set in a fictional medical centre in multicultural London, for the BBC World Service. In 2003 she edited a collection of political essays on the issues faced by black women in Britain, From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall black sisters (Zed Press). She was writer-in-residence at Bromley-by-Bow Centre from 2000 until 2005 and has run writing workshops in a range of community and educational settings. Her book on the link between immigration controls and slavery Enslaved: the new British slavery was published in 2007 and was reissued by Portobello Books in May 2008.

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Rahila Gupta

Non-fiction writer


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  • Queen Mary, University of London, 2018–2019
  • Queen Mary, University of London, 2006–2009
  • Writing for Life Fellow