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