Love the Dark Days



‘[A] gem of a memoir.’—The Bookseller

‘Ira Mathur takes the reader deep into the darkest spaces of her family history. Relentlessly honest… A window into a world rich in history that few know about. A compelling read.’—Shrabani Basu, author of Victoria & Abdul

Set in India, England and the Caribbean from the 1970s to 2017, Love the Dark Days is a remarkable memoir that follows the story of a girl, Poppet, born of mixed Hindu-Muslim parentage, from post-Independence India to postcolonial Trinidad.

Growing up in Bangalore with her mercurial maternal grandmother, Burrimummy, member of an aristocratic Muslim family whose history is one of having colluded with the British, Poppet unconsciously imbibes Burrimummy’s prejudices of class and race. As the darker-skinned child in her family, uncertain of her place in her glamorous mother’s affections or her grandmother’s, she feels she does not belong. The feeling of unbelonging is repeated when she migrates with her parents to multicultural Trinidad, where she encounters Indian people, several generations away from India, who have a very different sense of themselves—they are critical of what they perceive as her upper-class airs and graces. She marries into one such family, earning both love and pain. Lonely and confused, she begins writing about her experiences as a way of trying to make sense of them. In her darkest hour, she meets the Caribbean poet Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate, who encourages her to leave the past behind and reinvent herself.

Raw, unflinching, but not without threads of humour, Love the Dark Days is an intricate tapestry about class, race, gender—and the love-hate web of family—that has at its centre a woman’s struggle for identity, love and emotional stability.

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ImprintSpeaking Tiger


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