Comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi has penned her second novel, Kissing Emma. Written for young adults and inspired by Emma Hamilton, the book reimagines Lord Nelson’s mistress’s life as a vulnerable young woman who men take advantage of.
In her 2017 Edinburgh Fringe show Mistress and Misfit Khorsandi also addressed the life of Emma Hamilton, arguing that history has done her a disservice by portraying Hamilton as someone who exploited their sexuality to get ahead.
Khorsandi’s Emma is “a beautiful, but vulnerable, young woman in a world obsessed with fame and fortune.
“Emma and her mother are down on their luck. They’re taking turns sleeping on the sofa in her nan’s tiny flat – and desperately trying to come up with an escape plan.
“Emma is struggling with her family, struggling at school where the girls are bitchy towards her and the boys only seem to want one thing, and struggling with never having enough money for anything, ever. Just as she’s contemplating quitting school to get a real job, she meets two men who convince her that she has a shot at modelling. But their motives are far from innocent, and Emma is soon pulled into a dark world. And then she meets Con, who is rich, handsome and so romantic! Has Emma’s luck finally changed?”
Kissing Emma by Shappi Khorsandi will be published by Hachette Children’s Group on 2nd September