See also Trading Tatiana: About | Extracts | Reviews | Other books by Debi Alper

Trading TatianaAt the point I signed the two book deal with Weidenfeld & Nicolson, I had only just begun writing Trading Tatiana. The contract refers to it as the imaginatively titled Book 2.

I knew I wanted to use my writing to bring attention to the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in this country as well as the women ensnared by the international sex trade. My intention was to give a human face to some of the people involved in these related but different struggles. Dealing with such an emotive subject meant that I felt an enormous responsibility to ‘get it right’. I’m hugely indebted to all those who helped me with the research, especially NK and SV.

Originally, I hadn’t intended to write another Nirvana book. But as the narrative began to unfold, I realised I had already created this cast of characters who were real to me and ‘out there’. As far as I was concerned, they would be continuing to lead their lives whether I chose to write about them or not.

I decided to start this book at a point in Nirvana Bites that had remained unresolved. We never did find out how Stan got down from the roof of that tower block from which he had been suspended. Well, now we do. He was saved by Jo Cooper, who lived inside the twentieth floor flat that he dangled outside.

The book is written in the first person again, but this time the narrator is Jo Cooper. My hope was that new readers would be intrigued by references to the co-op, but also that people who had already read Nirvana Bites would appreciate the view of Jen and her fellow Nirvanans from a different angle.

See an interview with me on in March 2005, and another I did with the South London Press in February 2005.

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