Hamish Hamilton scoops Avni Doshi's 'sharp' betrayal novel

Hamish Hamilton scoops Avni Doshi's 'sharp' betrayal novel

Hamish Hamilton has bought a book by author Avni Doshi, billed as “a sly and searing debut from an unmissable new voice in literary fiction”.

Hermione Thompson, editor at Hamish Hamilton, bought world English volume, audio and serial rights excluding Indian sub-continent from Maria Cardona at Pontas Literary & Film Agency, to publish in Summer 2020.

“In her youth, Tara 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,” the synopsis reads. “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. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar is a novel about mothers and daughters, memory and self-mythology, but most of all it a story of betrayal.”

Dubai-based Doshi won the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize in 2013 and a Charles Pick Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in 2014. Her debut novel is published in India by 4th Estate under the title Girl in White Cotton. The publisher called Doshi “a sly and searing debut from an unmissable new voice in literary fiction”.

Thompson said: “From the brutal first sentence, Avni’s writing held me fast on its gleaming hook. Disquieting and surgically precise, Burnt Sugar is a nuanced indictment (or possibly a painful acquittal) of the human heart, in all its ambivalence and multiplicity. And at the same time, it examines the troubled identity of modern middle class India: the psycho-social pressure points that shift beneath its surfaces, acting on women with particularly unforgiving force. I am thrilled to welcome Avni Doshi to the Hamish Hamilton list and to share her astonishing first novel with the world.”

Doshi says: “It’s an honour to be a part of Hamish Hamilton’s illustrious list and Hermione Thompson’s reputation as a brilliant editor precedes her. I’ve been working on this book for the last seven years, and to be able to send it out into the world is a dream come true.”