Episode 26: Nikesh Shukla on Doppelgängers and Online Life

This week English writer Nikesh Shukla talks about his most recent novel Meatspace, a hilarious (and often wonderfully deranged) look at the Internet and social media through the eyes of two brothers Kitab and Aziz, living in London. Both are obsessed and defined by their online personas and with finding their online doppelgängers – add to the mix; a father who, after a period of grieving his wife’s death, is embracing life online; identity theft; and renegade superheroes, and you’ve got yourself a wacky ride of a book that is guaranteed to make you chuckle.

You can prime yourself by watching Nikesh’s Meatspace rap below or how he catapulted a Tandoori lamb chop into space.

Let us know what you think of the episode on Instagram & Twitter @litupshow.

XOXO Angie & Emily


Nikesh’s first novel Coconut Unlimited was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011. In 2011, Nikesh co-wrote a non-fiction essay about the riots with Kieran Yates called Generation Vexed: What the Riots Don’t Tell Us About Our Nation’s Youth. In 2013, he released a novella about food, called The Time Machine, donating all his proceeds to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. This won Best Novella at the Sabotage Awards.

In 2014, he wrote an award-winning short film with Sarmad Masud called Two Dosas, starring Himesh Patel. His Channel 4 Comedy Lab Kabadasses aired on E4 and Channel 4 in 2011 and starred Shazad Latif, Jack Doolan and Josie Long. The film won the Film London ‘London Calling Plus’ Award for best film.

His short stories have been featured in the following places: Best British Short Stories 2013, Five Dials, The Moth Magazine, Pen Pusher, The Sunday Times, Book Slam, BBC Radio 4, First City Magazine and Teller Magazine. He has written for the Guardian, Esquire and BBC 2. He has, in the past, been writer in residence for BBC Asian Network and Royal Festival Hall.


Buy Meatspace at your local independent bookstore, on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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