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.