A YOUNG man’s perilous journey from Afghanistan will bring him to Hexham next week.

Author Gulwali Passarlay is coming to Hexham’s Forum Cinema to talk about his autobiography.

The Lightless Sky chronicles Gulwali’s passage from Aghanistan, through Europe and on to the UK.

His visit, on Thursday, March 2, is part of this year’s Read Regional campaign.

Twelve writers now based in the North of England are taking part in the event, which aims to connect authors with readers.

This year’s Read Regional campaign encourages readers to ‘take a risk’ with their choices by picking up a book by a new writer or in a new genre.

Claire Malcolm is chief executive for New Writing North, which runs the campaign in partnership with Active Northumberland and the region’s library.

She said: “Read Regional is all about celebrating new books by authors in the North and encouraging readers in the region to pick up a new title and perhaps come and meet the author in their local library.”

Gulwali’s autobiography centres around his journey from his homeland to England at the age of 13 as a political refugee.

After settling in the UK, he went on to study politics at Manchester University where he became involved in the equality and diversity committee and became a student governor, representing more than 1,600 students.

He works with a number of youth representation organisations and has campaigned for many social justice issues.

In 2012, he was selected to carry the Olympic torch.

Gulwali’s visit to Hexham is a collaboration between Northumberland Libraries, Hexham Book Festival and the Forum Cinema’s Wide Skies initiative.

Audiences are invited to a showing of the film He Named Me Malala at 5.30pm followed by Gulwali’s talk at 7.30pm.

Libraries across Northumberland will display all 12 books featured in this year’s campaign.

Readers can also download a reading guide for each title.

For more information on the 12 books and events across the region, visit: www.newwritingnorth.com