by Wiz Wharton
Warton’s debut novel, Ghost Girl, Banana – based on her mother’s posthumously discovered diaries – is a dual narrative examining the search for belonging and identity, set between the last years of the Chinese Windrush in 1966 and Hong Kong’s Handover to China in 1997. It was pre-empted by Hodder Studio.
Heartfelt, beautiful, funny and real, Ghost Girl, Banana is an irresistibly compelling exploration of family, identity and what it costs to belong. In 1966, Suk-Yin is exiled from Kowloon to London with orders to restore honour to her family. As she strives to fit into a world that does not understand her, she realises that survival will mean carving out a destiny of her own. Thirty years later, in London, her daughter Lily can barely remember the mother she lost as a small child. When she is unexpectedly named in the will of a powerful Chinese stranger, she embarks on a secret pilgrimage to Hong Kong to discover the lost side of her identity and claim the reward. But she soon learns that the secrecy around her heritage has deep roots, and good fortune comes at a price.
Wiz Wharton was born in London of Chinese-European heritage. She is a prize-winning graduate from the National Film and Television School where she studied screenwriting under the tutelage of Stephen Frears, Mike Leigh and Ken Trodd. Previously published in non-fiction, she has appeared on various broadcast platforms, including radio, television and print media.
An early draft of the novel reached the Longlist of The Jericho Writers Friday Night Live initiative 2020, the Grindstone Literary Novel Competition 2020, The TLC BESEA Initiative, and the Next Chapter Award from the Scottish Book Trust. She was the 2020 winner of The Jericho Writers Self Edit Bursary and a finalist in The DHA Open Writers Week. She currently divides her time between London and the Scottish Highlands.