Indian-origin author Avni Doshi’s book Burnt Sugar, released in India as Girl in White Cotton, made it to the longlist of the Booker Prize for Fiction for the 2020. The longlist consists of 13 novels that were chosen from a total of 162 books published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 this year. This year’s longlist was chosen by editor, literary critic and former publisher Margaret Busby (chair); author Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson.

Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar

Born in New Jersey, Doshi currently resides in Dubai. Burnt Sugar is her first novel. Although, Indian audience might recognise the book by the name of Girl in White Cotton, as it was released under this alternate title in the country. Avni is a citizen of the United States and has a BA in Art History from Barnard College in New York and a Masters in History of Art from the University College London.  The novel was awarded the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize in 2013. In 2019, the novel was also long-listed for the Tata First Book Prize.

Her book is a story of a mother-daughter duo, Tara and Antara. Tara suffers from severe memory-loss issues, but she refuses to accept her illness. Tara’s grown-up daughter Antara has to now take care of her, although the two share a difficult relationship.

According to The Booker Prizes, which announced the longlist, “This is a love story and it is a story about betrayal. But not between lovers – between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Avni Doshi tests the limits of what we can know for certain about those we are closest to, and by extension, about ourselves.”

Also Read: Books By Women Authors To Look Out For In 2020

The Longlist

The 2020 Booker long-list has nine Americans or those holding dual-US citizenship, three Britons and one Zimbabwean. Out of the 13 authors, nine are women writers. Three of the novelists – Hilary Mantel, Anne Tyler and Colum McCann – have been shortlisted before. In fact, the British writer Hilary Mantel is longlisted for the third time, having won the Booker Prize for her two previous novels. She is one of only four authors to win the prestigious award twice, alongside Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey and JM Coetzee. No writer has yet won the award three times.

Eight writers out of the longlist are also debutante novelists. The shortlist will be announced on September 15 and the winner will be announced in November. About the longlist, Margaret Busby, chairperson of the 2020 judges, said in a statement: “Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership. Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society.”

Also Read: J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Others Sign Open Letter Against Cancel Culture

Picture Credit: thenational.ae

Dyuti Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

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