Authors and Book Reviews  

December 14 - 20, 2007


 Coastweek   Kenya

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DRAMATIC 'family saga' shifting
between India, Africa and Britain

Coastweek - - Former Mombasa Academy student Priya Basil has successfully published her first novel entitled 'Ishq and Mushq'.

Set against the violent backdrop of India's Partition in 1947, 'Ishq and Mushq' tells the story of Karam and Sarna, a young Sikh couple, who meet and fall in love before being brutally separated in the stampede to partition.

Reunited after the chaos, they marry and set sail for Kenya to begin a new life.

But history cannot so easily be forgotten.

Traumatised by his brush with death in a refugee camp in Lahore, Karam restlessly searches for a new kind of history which he can be part of.

And Sarna, retreating inside her kitchen, tries to forget the shameful secrets of her past by cooking up an alternative version of reality.

Coastweek - - Talented
novelist Priya Basil.

She is tracked down by Nina, the illegitimate daughter she abandoned at birth, and the secrets of her past begin to unravel.

She must marry Nina off or risk exposure; but first she must teach her how to cook.

Spanning the second half of the twentieth century and shifting between India, Africa and Britain, this family saga dramatizes the Sikh experience and the secrets which bedevil unhappy families.

The Guardian newspaper recently chose 'Ishq and Mushq' as among this year's most promising writing debuts. 'Ishq and Mushq' is also one of 100 titles chosen to promote World Book Day 2008.

A review of the novel in India Today observed:

"''Ishq and Mushq' is the product of a light, deft hand that mixes an engrossing narrative with unexpected dashes of magic realism, spices it with chilli hot secrets and sprinkles it liberally with home-truths about colonial hangovers and diasporic dilemmas, before serving it all up with impressive elan".

The Glasgow Herald noted: "'Ishq and Mushq' is an enticing debut by a much-vaunted young novelist."

Coastweek - - Book cover
for Priya Basil's first novel
entitled 'Ishq and Mushq'.

Priya was raised in Kenya - where her parents owned and operated a tourist hotel on the Mombasa North Coast - and completed her education in Britain.

She studied English at the University of Bristol. She is now a full time writer and commutes between homes in London and Berlin.

She has a passion for food and when not writing is often to be found in the kitchen.

Priya Basil's new novel 'Ishq and Mushq' is published by Doubleday and retails @ 12.99.

For more information visit: www.priyabasil.com





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