Uk News Marina Wheeler, Boris Johnson's ex-wife, could be working on her memoirs United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Marina Wheeler QC, Boris Johnson's ex-wife, reveals her future plans after being shortlisted for top literary award
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! “It’s the story of a woman emerging from the shadows and taking control of her life,” reflects Marina Wheeler QC, the former wife of Boris Johnson, on her deeply personal account of a turbulent family history which has been shortlisted for a leading literary award.A leading human rights lawyer, Ms Wheeler has been nominated for the £10,000 Christopher Bland Prize, awarded by the Royal Society of Literature to a debut novelist or non-fiction writer aged 50 or over.Ms Wheeler, whose 15-year marriage to the Prime Minister ended in a divorce settlement last year, is shortlisted for The Lost Homestead.Your guide to what to watch next - no spoilers, we promiseEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.The book explores the author’s Punjabi Sikh heritage, tracing the story of her mother’s family, forced to flee as violence engulfed India in 1947 following Partition of the Punjab. Told through her mother’s memories, it is Ms Wheeler’s first non-legal book.Ms Wheeler and Mr Johnson, who have four children, separated after the he began an affair with Carrie Symonds, Conservative Party communications director, in 2018.The barrister “cleared the decks” and began “a quest to find my roots,” travelling to her mother’s former “homestead”, Sargodha, now in Pakistan, to research the story.She coaxed from her initially reticent mother, Dip, details of her miserable arranged marriage at the aged of 17, to a “boorish thug” in Delhi, from which she packed her bags and escaped.She later met and fell in love with the BBC foreign correspondent Charles Wheeler, Marina’s father.Marina Wheeler is stepping out of the shadows with a new literary career (Getty)A recent biography of Mr Johnson said Ms Wheeler, who specialises in public law, terminated her own marriage because she “couldn’t take his infidelity any more”.Did Ms Wheeler discover a deeper empathy with her mother, as she embarked upon a new life as a divorcee? “Yes, I think so,” she tells i. “She is making her own choices, recognising when something doesn’t work. Absolutely.”Having caught the writing bug, the QC may be tempted to tell her own life story. “I definitely want to keep on writing. There are things I’m playing around with. I want to be absolutely sure I’m doing the right thing before taking the plunge.”The QC, who knew only snippets of her Anglo-Indian heritage, was inspired to write the book in 2017, during the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.“I was watching some of the coverage with my mum, who lived through it. It struck me so clearly she had this untold story. Since my dad was a journalist, she always sort of stood on the sidelines.”“I found it shocking that I knew so little of my roots. She never waxed lyrical about it but I think my mother’s life had been a quest to be herself. She walked out of an arranged marriage with a wealthy, influential family, so hats off to her, really.”The trappings of her husband’s office also provided motivation.
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.Feeling displaced and, as the marriage came under strain, she began writing: “The connotations of empire were all around. I had an appetite to write this story and an opportunity arose, so I took it.”“I wrote it in all sorts of places around London. I found it quite invigorating to take my laptop and write in difference locations. Finally, I finished it in my new place,” she says, gesturing at the living room of her terraced house in East London.With the terms of the divorce settled – the Land Registry shows that Marina, the Prime Minister’s second wife, has a “right” on Johnson’s £1.25m Grade II-listed home in Thame, Oxfordshire – the QC is also making a fresh start at work.“I’m now able to exercise more control over cases and I’ve made a decision to focus on conflict resolution and mediation,” she says. “I’m interested in Northern Ireland which has echoes of Partition. There is a kind of symmetry with my family’s story. But I do want to do more mediation than litigation.”Marina showed the text of the book to her children and to Dip, who had been in ill health and died before publication. But those scurrying to the index to find “B Johnson”, will only find one entry – President Lyndon B Johnson.Although the Johnson clan are prolific authors, their shelves are light on literary awards (bar Boris’s sister Rachel’s Bad Sex in Fiction prize). Ms Wheeler is first to be nominated for a major honour. “That’s fantastic news,” she says. “All the better.”She may pull off a surprise with her next move. “I’d like to do more non-fiction but I’m also intrigued by the thought of something completely different – comedy or something, why not try that?”Imagine the former Mrs Johnson filling the Have I Got News For You seat that catapulted her ex- husband to TV stardom.As the author says of her new life: “There’s lots of exciting things going on. That’s part of the great lesson – we don’t know what you’re really capable of until you try it.”The winner of the Christopher Bland prize, named for the broadcasting executive who started writing novels after his retirement, will be announced next month.The six-strong shortlist includes One of Them, the memoirs of Michael Cashman, the former EastEnders actor who became a gay rights activist and was appointed a life peer. Music writer Pete Paphides’ coming-of-age memoir Broken Greek also features.2021 RSL Christopher Bland Prize shortlistRosanna Amaka – The Book of EchoesRichard Atkinson – Mr Atkinson’s Rum ContractMichael Cashman – One of ThemLouise Fein – People Like UsPete Paphides – Broken GreekMarina Wheeler – The Lost Homestead
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