Girl in White Cotton / Burnt Sugar

Girl in White Cotton / Burnt Sugar

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Girl in White Cotton / Burnt Sugar

Author: Avni Doshi

A sly and searing debut from an unmissable new voice in literary fiction.

«I would be lying if I said my mother’s misery has never given me pleasure.»

In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her loveless marriage to join an ashram, endured a brief stint as a beggar (mostly to spite her affluent parents), and spent years chasing after a dishevelled, homeless ‘artist’, all with her young child in tow. Now she is forgetting things, mixing up her maid’s wages and leaving the gas on all night, and her grown-up daughter is faced with the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her.

This is a love story: a tale of obsession and betrayal. But not between lovers: between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar unpicks the slippery, choking cord of memory and myth that binds two women together, making and unmaking them endlessly.

Original language

ENGLISH (Indian subcontinent) | 4th Estate / HarperCollins India
ENGLISH (UK & Comm. excluding Canada) | Hamish Hamilton / PRH UK
ENGLISH (US & Canada) | The Overlook Press

Translation rights

HEBREW | Aryeh Nir Publishing House
SPANISH (World) | Temas de Hoy / Planeta

• Shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for Fiction 2019

Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, Review: “Avni Doshi is a writer of surgical precision and sharp intelligence. This novel of mother-and-daughter resentments and the deep, intimate cuts of ancient family history gleams like a blade — both dangerous and beautiful. I loved it.” 

Olivia Sudjic, author of Exposure and Sympathy, Review: “Acerbic, full of wit and cool intelligence, but also brilliantly poetic and passionate – every sentence is a coiled spring and each psychological portrait burns itself into the mind. I couldn’t put it down.”

Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti, Review: ‘‘Crystalline and almost surgical, an elegy and an exorcism… This is a compulsively readable examination of toxic relationships and the ties that bind us.

Fatima Bhutto, author of The Runaways, Review: ‘‘Taut and unsettling, a dark, ferocious novel.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days, Review: ‘‘Raw, wise and cuttingly funny, Burnt Sugar explores dependence and independence, marriage and motherhood, and one woman’s fight for her sense of self as love and cruelty intertwine until they become near-indistinguishable.

Tishani Doshi, author of Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, Review: ‘‘A courageous novel written in spare, gleaming sentences. It made me hold my breath and gather it up again.

Vogue India, Review: ‘‘Poignant and economical, it speaks of motherhood and memory, trauma and truth-searching, love and the language for it’ 

India Today, Review: ‘‘Excellent. A fascinating and unsettling novel about the limited power afforded to women and the price they pay for acting in their own interest… It both provokes unease and always rings true.

 

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