WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC FICTION THE CONTROVERSIAL AND DARING NOVEL THAT TOOK THE ARAB WORLD BY STORM 'AMBITIOUS, CULTIVATED AND BRAVE' - FINANCIAL TIMES Josephine escapes poverty by coming to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a maid, where she meets Rashid, an idealistic only son with literary aspirations. Josephine, with all the wide-eyed naivety of youth, believes she has found true love. But when she becomes pregnant, and with the rumble of war growing ever louder, Rashid bows to family and social pressure, and sends her back home with her baby son, Jose., Brought up struggling with his dual identity, Jose clings to the hope of returning to his father's country when he is eighteen. He is ill-prepared to plunge headfirst into a world where the fear of tyrants and dictators is nothing compared to the fear of 'what will people say'. And with a Filipino face, a Kuwaiti passport, an Arab surname and a Christian first name, will his father's country welcome him? The Bamboo Stalk takes an unflinching look at the lives of foreign workers in Arab countries and confronts the universal problems of identity, race and religion.
The Beautiful Orderliness of the House is what gives us Life. Piranesi has always lived in the House; or, for as long as he can remember. Day after day, Piranesi records in his notebooks with precision and carefulness the House's endless halls, their great and strange statues, the ebb and flow of the tides within its walls. He speaks to the birds; and brings tributes of food and waterlilies to the House's Dead. Once in a while, he sees his friend the Other. But mostly, he is alone. Then messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk and spelled out in pebbles. A new person has come to the House, and there is something they are trying to tell Piranesi. But another story is unfolding, within the pages of Piranesi's own journal. A story written in his own hand, that he cannot remember writing; a story of a group of strangers, in an unfamiliar world. The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.
A searing debut novel about mothers and daughters, obsession and betrayal - for fans of Deborah Levy, Jenny Offill and Diana Evans 'Poignant and economical, it speaks of motherhood and memory, trauma and truth-searching, love and the language for it' Vogue India 'Crystalline, surgical, compulsively readable. An examination of toxic relationships and the ties that bind us' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti 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, choking cord of memory and myth that binds two women together, making and unmaking them endlessly.