Booker nominee Avni Doshi: 'Women feared my ambivalence towards motherhood'

Her venomous debut novel about a fraught mother/daughter relationship shocked India – and now it’s challenging Hilary Mantel

Avni Doshi did not have children when she started writing what would become her debut novel, Burnt Sugar – in fact, she was deeply unsure about whether she wanted them. Over eight drafts in almost as many years, Doshi wrote through her indecision, telling the story of a difficult mother-daughter relationship that is defined by ambivalence on both sides. After submitting her final manuscript in 2018, she gave birth to a baby boy.

When her novel – which was nominated for this year’s Booker prize on Tuesday – was first published in India last year, under the title Girl in White Cotton, Doshi was nervous about revisiting her visions of parenthood. But she was pleased by her own accuracy, even a bit unsettled by it. Her main character, Antara, experiences postpartum depression, as Doshi did.

Continue reading...


Shelf-promotion: the art of furnishing rooms with books you haven’t read

Ashley Tisdale admitted she’d bought all her books for a photoshoot – and as Adele and Gwyneth Pal...

Read More >

The road well travelled: 100 years of Jack Kerouac

Nature-loving mystic or proto-dudebro? Untameable free spirit or reclusive mama’s boy? On the cente...

Read More >

‘Who are we performing for?’: Will McPhail on the strange art of small talk

The New Yorker cartoonist’s debut graphic novel In follows an aimless artist who struggles to conne...

Read More >

Give up Google, don't hit 'accept all': how to fight for your privacy

In Privacy Is Power, professor Carissa Véliz has made a shocking survey of how much intimate data we...

Read More >

Katharina Volckmer: 'Germans say they've dealt with their past. But I don’t think you can'

The Appointment’s darkly funny untangling of national and sexual identity has not been published in...

Read More >

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer review – dusk falls on Twilight saga

This plodding retelling of the first book from Edward’s perspective is a 750-page exercise in tooth...

Read More >