At just 24 years old, Ben Masters has found himself on the receiving end of some pretty hefty accolades. The Sunday Times and Dazed & Confused both draw comparisons between his debut Noughties and the works of living legend Martin Amis, whilst the Times Literary Supplement calls him ‘an expert on the rhythms and textures of the student experience’ and Nikesh Shukla dubs the book ‘real and tender and hilarious’.
The Oxford graduate completed the novel when he was just 22 with, he admits, having ‘very little life lived’. The story, which he terms as a ‘tongue-in-cheek Miltonic descent’, traces the misdemeanours of a group of students on their last night at Oxford University. Although Masters confesses that his own ‘university experience was too standard, too boring, to be turned into a novel’, the story is autobiographical to some extent, following his English student protagonist’s journey to maturation, ‘finding his voice and working out what to do with it.’
Despite his remarkable achievements, Masters remains modestly cautious about his talents, noting that there’s always a ‘danger of seeing the publication of Noughties as an 'I've arrived' moment. I prefer to maintain the attitude that I'm only as good as my next novel.’ Currently undertaking a PhD in English at Cambridge University, we expect that this will not be the last masterwork we see from this talented individual…
- Festival dates:
- 10-26 August 2019
- Programme launch:
- June 2019