Melody Razak is British Iranian writer from London, with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. She has had short stories published in the Mechanics Institute Review, the Bath Short Story Anthology and the Brick Lane Short Story Prize.
Previous to writing, she owned treacle&co, a cafe in Brighton and more recently worked in the kitchens of Honey&Co in London as a pastry chef. She is currently living in Brighton.
MOTH is her debut novel.
Observer's 'Ten Debut Novelists' of 2021
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize
Shortlisted for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award
Harper's Bazaar's 'Five Debut Female Authors to Read This Summer'
'Powerful and heartbreaking'
'Gripping... Razak painstakingly paints a portrait of a family; their rituals, their private languages, their shared lives'
'Heartbreaking and heart-warming... The character portrayal is so intricate that as the plot twists and turns, you'll truly care what happens to them'
'Assured and powerful'
'One of the best debuts I've ever read. It made my heart swell'
Sarah Winman, author of Still Life
'A stunning, powerful work by a brave new voice in British fiction'
Anna Hope, author of Expectation
'Powerful and moving... Every character springs from the page'
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
Ma and Bappu teach at the local university. Their fourteen year-old daughter Alma is soon to be married but she is mostly interested in spinning wild stories for her beloved younger sister Roop.
Times are bad for girls in India. The long-awaited independence from British rule brings unrest that threatens to unravel the rich tapestry of Delhi, and when Partition happens, Ma, Bappu, Alma and Roop are forced to find increasingly desperate ways to survive.
But the the power of hope is an extraordinary thing...
MEET THE FAMILY AT THE HEART OF MOTH:
Alma: the beating heart of the novel. We meet her as a precocious 14-year old who becomes entangled with the chaos of Partition with devastating consequences
Roop: Alma's younger sister. Obsessed with death, she is a fierce, funny and rather wild child trying to make sense of the destruction that has befallen her family
Ma and Bappu: their dream of an independent India collapses under the weight of History. Ma's experience mirrors that of the many Indian women who were hoping for new freedom under an independent India - and had to face more harassment and insecurity instead
And many more: the Muslim nanny, forced to hide in a water tank; the widowed house-keeper whose mission is to keep the family together; the old grandmother, obsessed with the family's honour and determined to preserve it no matter the cost...