Talk
April 21, 2021

Reading Burnt Sugar with Avni Doshi

April 21, 2021 | Warehouse 83

Read aloud with Booker prize nominee Avni Doshi

Starts 8:30 PM

Ends 10:00 PM

Venue Warehouse 83

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Where are the boundaries between care for the self, care for the family and our obligations to our wider community? How might we reconsider our roles within the social, particularly maternal responsibilities to the family, or a child’s obligation to care for an aging parent? Join us for a reading-aloud and open discussion with author Avni Doshi. Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, her novel Burnt Sugar presents a complex view of these primary relationships, a story of imperfect protagonists, care, forgiveness and recovery.

Pre-registration is required, spaces are limited. Selected excerpts of the text will be shared with participants.

RSVP by April 20 to rsvp@alserkal.online.

Photo credit: Sharon Haridas

About the Writer

Avni Doshi was born in New Jersey and lives in Dubai. She has a BA in art history from Barnard College in New York and a Masters in history of art from University College London. She was awarded the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize in 2013 and a Charles Pick Fellowship in 2014. Her writing has appeared in British Vogue, Granta and The Sunday Times. Her first novel, Burnt Sugar, was originally released in India under the title Girl in White Cotton, where it won the 2021 Sushila Devi Award and was longlisted for the 2019 Tata First Novel Prize. Upon publication in the UK, Burnt Sugar was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. Currently, it is on the longlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. It was named a 2020 Book of the Year by the Guardian, Economist, Spectator and NPR, and is being published in 23 languages. Avni is currently working on her second book.


About Burnt Sugar

'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 tale of obsession and betrayal. This is a poisoned love story. But not between lovers - between mother and daughter. Tara and Antara, the woman and her angry shadow. But which one is which? Sharp as a blade and compulsively readable, Burnt Sugar slowly untangles the knot of memory and fiction that binds two women together, revealing the truth that lies beneath.