Andrew Sharp

Andrew Sharp




Andrew Sharp writes short stories and novels. His first novel, The Ghosts of Eden won the 2010 Waverton Good Read Award and was short-listed for the 2011 International Rubery Book Award. His second novel, Fortunate (forthcoming, 2012) is set in Zimbabwe. 

Andrew is a medical doctor who also writes articles for medical magazines. Like many other Leicester residents, he has roots in East Africa, where he spent his childhood. He frequently returns there and it is the inspiration for much of his writing.


Creative Work

From The Ghosts of Eden

The shadow of the British Airways jet scythed over the ruched earth, never slowing for ravines, craggy outcrops or dried up rivers. It ghosted landscapes of splintered rock, brecciated granite and bouldered river beds. It traced cities and waters and snows, passed over Alexandria, the Valley of the Kings, Khartoum, the White Nile, the Mountains of the Moon.

In the first class cabin, Michael Lacey controlled his breathing. He trained his gaze on a speck on the aircraft cabin window and remembered a child. For years, even recalling the child had been taboo but, as the hours had passed in the confined space of the cabin, he had hunted for an effective distraction from his claustrophobia. The more troubling the thought, the greater the relief of his symptoms. It was as if his mind only had room for one ordeal at a time. Until today he had held a staunch faith in the power of rational thought. Now he suspected that the memory's  return was triggered by an increasing proximity as the aircraft travelled south, to the child’s final resting place. No, the tight tube in which he was trapped was not to blame for the sensation of an immovable weight on his chest. It was the notion of the child, buried at his destination.

‘Do you believe a native curse can kill?’

The fleshy man in the adjacent seat was leaning across, his breath musty with combusted tobacco. It took a few moments for Michael to register that the question was addressed to him. He gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

‘That’s what I think,’ said the man, his voice bursting with relief. ‘It’s a good thing I do, because they say if you believe it then it comes true.'



As a literary form, the novel can girdle several themes. I tried to take advantage of the genre's generous reach in my debut novel, The Ghosts of Eden. These opening lines establish the foundations of the story's main themes.

I have always been intrigued by what happens when you grow up in a stable and secure culture, believing the pattern of your life is broadly set, and then find yourself suddenly and forcibly deposited into another. All points of reference, all certainties, all previous ambitions are trashed. Amongst those who have had this experience are the African Asians, expelled at gunpoint from Uganda in 1972, many of whom ended up in my adopted city of Leicester.

Michael, a successful surgeon, is not a Ugandan Asian. However, he has also had the experience of exile. Some exiles become forever nostalgic or hold two worlds in their persona which they are forever moving between with practiced skill. Others are embarrassed by their background or, as in Michael's extreme case, remake themselves and never integrate the first episode of their life's story with the second. Michael's dislocation relates in part to the shattering of his childhood beliefs as well as the world he grew up in, whilst for my Ugandan character, Zachye, introduced later in the novel, it's a rejection of the traditions of his ancestors.

Here Michael is returning to the land of his birth, determined to prove that the past has no grip on him; that his separation from who was - and what he did -  is complete; that he is free. But as the jet carries him nearer to the ghosts of his childhood he finds compelling and malign forces of thought crowd in. His journey becomes a search for who he might have been, what was lost, what might be salvaged. The novel explores whether an exile can integrate both sides of his life story; can span the rift of a luxated life, of two opposing narratives.

In Fortunate, my next novel, my principal character deliberately seeks exile. I can see a pattern - a habit in subject matter - emerging.



Articles (commentary and humour), Medical Monitor, London, Multiple dates. 
Lift Going Down, Making a Mark Anthology, Leicester Writers' Club, Leicester, 2008
The Ghosts of Eden, Picnic Publishing, Hove, 2009.
Fortunate, Picnic Publishing, Hove, 2012.

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