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Watch – In conversation with Arifa Akbar

07 February 2022

Sarah Shaffi interviews Arifa Akbar about her book Consumed: A Sister's Story.

Arifa Akbar

This was an exclusive live event for Saga customers, recorded in December 2021. Experience it again below.


Consumed: A Sister's Story

When Arifa Akbar discovered that her sister had fallen seriously ill, she assumed there would be a brief spell in hospital and then she'd be home. This was not to be. It was not until the day before she died that the family discovered she was suffering from tuberculosis.

Consumed is a story of sisterhood, grief, the redemptive power of art and the strange mythologies that surround tuberculosis. It takes us from Keats's deathbed and the tubercular women of opera to the resurgence of TB in modern Britain today.

‘I loved this haunting, beautiful exploration of sisterhood, love and loss. Consumed weaves together art history, medical mystery and grief memoir with enormous honesty and tenderness.’
Rachel Clarke, bestselling author of Dear Life and Breathtaking

About Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is the Guardian’s chief theatre critic. A journalist for over twenty years, she is the former literary editor of the Independent , where she also worked as arts correspondent and news reporter. She has previously contributed to the Observer and the Financial Times. She is on the board of trustees for the Orwell Foundation and English PEN. Short pieces of her non-fiction have appeared in several anthologies. Consumed is her first full-length book and has been long-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize.

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