LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2020
A searing debut novel about mothers and daughters, obsession and betrayal - for fans of Jenny Offill's Weather, Deborah Levy's Hot Milk and Diana Evans' Ordinary People
'Utterly compelling, complex, unflinching realism - sometimes emotionally wrenching but also cathartic, written with poignancy and memorability' The Booker Prize Judges 2020
'An unsettling, sinewy debut, startling in its venom and disarming in its humour from the very first sentence' Guardian
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 and a story about betrayal. But not between lovers - between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar unpicks the slippery cords of memory and myth that bind two women together, and hold them apart.
'Taut, unsettling, ferocious' Fatima Bhutto, author of The Runaways
'Acerbic, full of wit and cool intelligence - every sentence is a coiled spring and each psychological portrait burns itself into the mind. I couldn't put it down' Olivia Sudjic, author of Exposure and Sympathy
'Crystalline, surgical, compulsively readable. An examination of toxic relationships and the ties that bind us' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
'Daring and deliciously dark, Burnt Sugar will keep you gripped until the very last sentence' Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is a Foreign Country
'Raw, wise and cuttingly funny on love and cruelty, marriage and motherhood, art and illness, and one woman's fight for her sense of self' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days
An unsettling, sinewy debut, startling in its venom and disarming in its humour from the very first sentence
A masterclass. Crisp, engaging, perfectly tragic in the way that families often tend to be... Doshi writes sharply, in no-nonsense prose, not a single sentence in the book can be omitted... Avni Doshi is a force to watch out for in the literary world
Scouringly brilliant, a blazing debut that sticks in the mind like caramel blackened to the bottom of a pan... Doshi draws our relationships, both with the truth and with other people, with words that glitter sharp as shards of broken mirror
A sly, slippery, often heartbreaking novel about the role memory plays within families
A raw, vividly described exploration of the toxic relationship between two women who are forever bound together
This caustic tale of a destructive mother-daughter bond is as potent as its title might suggest... It bristles with sharp, chilly aphorisms... Doshi's visceral debut is a no-holds-barred excavation of how hate can both poison and sustain
Burnt Sugar straddles the line between pain and beauty. It makes the stomach churn. And, like all great literature, it prompts the question of the reader: is this you?
A disturbing tale of memory and forgetfulness, questioning the relevance and the authenticity of both
The graphic designer and illustrator on going from concept to finished jacket.