Love the Dark Days

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

This frank, fearless and multi-layered debut centres on a privileged but dysfunctional Indian family, with themes of empire, migration, race, and gender. The Victorian India elephant in the room in Ira Mathur's silk-swathed memoir Love The Dark Days is in chains. By the time calypso replaces the Raj in post-colonial Trinidad, the chains are off three generations of daughters and mothers in a family in their New World exile. But they are still stuck in place and enduring insecurity and threats, seen and unseen. Set in India, England, Trinidad and a weekend in St Lucia, with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott Love the Dark Days (Peepal Tree Press) follows the story of a girl, Poppet, of mixed middle-class Hindu and Elite Muslim parentage from post-independent India to her family's migration to post-colonial Trinidad. Profoundly raw, unflinching, layered, but not without threads of humour and perceived absurdity, Love the Dark Days reassembles the story of a disintegrating Empire.

This frank, fearless and multi-layered debut centres on a privileged but dysfunctional Indian family, with themes of empire, migration, race, and gender. The Victorian India elephant in the room in...


Advance Praise

“One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. A beautiful beautiful book.”

Michael Portillo, Times Radio

“Love The Dark Days is a troubled and troubling book, a heady brew that stays with you.”

The Observer

“A transcendent memoir about extremes of love and hate, princely wealth, and the rebellious, righteous poor. I loved it.''

Maggie Gee

"A blaze of a book, astonishing, colonial, post-colonial, modern and post-modern - a Caribbean feminist #metoo memoir that examines inherited patriarchal damage of women and societal norms brought from the Old World to the New. This exquisitely written book examines familial love and fateful blood ties while scrutinising, with compassion, a flawed patriarch and Magnus too, Derek Walcott. Mathur deftly yokes together parallel worlds, colonial India and post-colonial Trinidad. Both worlds are dark, and both worlds hurt women. A memoir like this has never torn itself out of the Caribbean."

Monique Roffey, winner of Costa Book of the Year 2020

 "Mathur brings alive startling episodes from her technicolour life, proving truth is not just stranger but often more compelling than fiction. There is a sense of her burning through her days, reckless, raw, and passionate. For all that, she offers the embers of her life with a rarely found wisdom. An exquisite, compassionate, and necessary book.""

 Amanda Smyth, longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize, 2022

“Ira Mathur takes the reader deep into the darkest spaces of her family history. Relentlessly honest, she tells a story of dispossession, patriarchy, passion and the wounds of a divided inheritance. Moving from pre-Independence India to Trinidad and London, we see the growing pains of the author as she decodes her relationships with her glamorous parents, her beautiful piano-playing authoritative grandmother and her siblings. In a world between poverty and privilege, she is guided by Derek Walcott, and Naipaul is ever-present. Ultimately, she must find her own voice, truth, and reconciliation. A window into a world rich in history that few know about. A compelling read.

Shrabani Basu, author of Victoria & Abdul

 "What marvellous and heartrending crossroads multiplied during the twentieth century. Between east, west, north, and south; many kinds of ancient and untold modes of modern; from 'man' and 'woman' to vulnerable beings of imagination and heart... Over the years, I have witnessed Ira Mathur navigating an all too human writer's life; I have yearned for her to put something of her beauty, wisdom and pain into print. Here it is. Stranger and more compelling than any fantasy, here we are."

Vahni (Anthony Ezekiel) Capildeo ,Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (2019) Winner of the Forward Prize for best poetry collection, with Measures of Expatriation in 2016

 “This brave and inspiring feminist critique of patriarchy and gender oppression set in Trinidad-- framed by the delusional greed and grandeur of colonial India and a weekend in St. Lucia spent with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott — has terrific promise as a biting movie adaptation for the #MeToo era”

Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter

“Love the Dark Days is an absorbing and illuminating work of memoir, which manages to straddle continents and epochs while retaining tight focus on the vibrant characters who link and inhabit them. It is questing and self-questioning, and admirably understanding of the inextricability of the past and the present”

James Scudamore

Novelist, winner of 2007 Somerset Maugham Award , Costa First Novel Award shortlist

''A compelling memoir of the binding power of love and the liberating beauty of forgiveness.'' Earl Lovelace, Novelist, Winner of OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, (2012 Commonwealth Writers Prize )

The stretch from a Mughal empire ancestry to the arrangements between the Mountbatten set and the Nawab of Savanur, the treachery and false promises of dismantled empire is all channelled through the annoyed, disinherited Burrimummy. We see Trinidad through an experienced journalist's eyes, Walcott and Naipaul.""

Alan Mahar, novelist and former publisher

"One of the most powerful and exciting new voices in contemporary literature. Love the Dark Days is an extraordinary, multi-layered memoir, drawing threads from the colonial past into a moving, contemporary story of fragile relationships. Ira Mathur is a real find."

David Haviland, editor and writer

“One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. A beautiful beautiful book.”

Michael Portillo, Times Radio

“Love The Dark Days is a troubled and troubling book, a heady brew that stays with you.”

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Marketing Plan

Interviews:

https://www.fane.co.uk/ira-mathur

Guardian/ Observer

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/jul/10/love-the-dark-days-by-ira-mathur-review-heady-memoir-about-family-dysfunction-in-india?CMP=twt_books_b-gdnbooks

Trinidad Guardian

https://e-paper.guardian.co.tt/popovers/dynamic_article_popover.aspx?artguid=326fc8ea-4315-406d-8f76-c2b8965da31b

Michael Portillo

https://wirelessgroup.radiomonitor.com/audio/download/TimesRadio_2022-07-01_2000.wav

 TimesRadio_2022-07-01_2000.wav

Irish Times

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/2022/07/07/writing-back-the-irresistible-rise-of-trinidadian-authors/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Interviews:

https://www.fane.co.uk/ira-mathur

Guardian/ Observer

...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781845235352
PRICE $19.95 (USD)
PAGES 232

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A beautifully written and intense memoir. Full of raw emotion, absorbing and courageous. A wonderful book and .a must read.

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