BURNT SUGAR

AVNI DOSHI ’01
BURNT SUGAR
Hamish Hamilton, July 2020

Originally published in India under the title Girl in White Cotton, Avni Doshi’s debut novel, Burnt Sugar, has been short-listed for the Booker Prize, the leading literary award in the English-speaking world. It tells the story of the fraught relationship between a mother, Tara, and her daughter, Antara. 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 disheveled, 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, choking cord of memory and myth that binds two women together, making and unmaking them endlessly.