Prior to the publication of her first novel Genie and Paul, Natasha Soobramanien was already experiencing more than a little taste of literary success. Her writing has appeared in Magnetic Promenade And Other Sculpture Parks edited by Chris Evans, and NW14 edited by Lavinia Greenlaw and Helon Habila; she contributed three beguiling chapters to Luke Williams’ award-winning debut novel The Echo Chamber; and her short story, Some Nice Stories, And One Not, was runner-up in the 2009 Bridport Prize, judged by Ali Smith. She also co-coordinates the occasional live literature night Plum, with fellow UEA Creative Writing graduate Luke Williams.
Her debut novel, Genie and Paul is an imaginative reworking of the 18th century French classic by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Paul et Virginie. Set in London, Mauritius and Rodrigues, the story follows 25 year old Genie Lallan in the search for her brother, who mysteriously disappears during a night out. Ultimately, Soobramanien’s tale is a love story: the story of a sister’s love for a lost brother, and the story of his love for an island that has never really existed. Amit Chaudhuri calls it ‘clever and beautiful’, and The Slap author, Christos Tsiolkas remarks that Genie and Paul is ‘a treasure of a book’.