Sathnam Sanghera was born to Punjabi parents in the West Midlands in 1976, attended Wolverhampton Grammar School and graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge with a first class degree in English Language and Literature in 1998. His first book, The Boy With The Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, published by Penguin, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book of the Year. Sathnam's first novel, Marriage Material is due to be published by Heinemann in September 2013 and has been picked by Waterstones as one of the fiction debuts of the year.
Before becoming a writer Sathnam (among other things) worked at a burger chain, a hospital laundry, a market research firm, a sewing factory and a literacy project in New York. Between 1998 and 2006 he was at The Financial Times, where he worked (variously) as a news reporter in the UK and the US, specialised in writing about the media industries, worked across the paper as Chief Feature Writer, and wrote a weekly column.
Sathnam joined The Times as a columnist and feature writer in 2007 and also reviews cars for Management Today magazine. He has won numerous prizes for his journalism, including Article of the Year in the 2005 Management Today Writing Awards, Newspaper Feature of the Year in the 2005 Workworld Media Awards, HR Journalist of the Year in the 2006 and 2009 Watson Wyatt Awards for Excellence and the accolade of Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2002.
He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for services to journalism by The University of Wolverhampton in September 2009, and a President's Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2010. The Boy With The Topknot was originally published in hardback as If You Don't Know Me By Now. He is trustee and advisory board chair for Creative Access, a charity which helps find internships in the creative industries for talented young people from under-represented backgrounds.