ELIZABETH CHAKRABARTY is an interdisciplinary artist using creative and critical writing, besides performance, to explore themes of race, gender and sexuality. Her story Eurovision was short-listed for the Asian Writer Short Story Prize, published in Dividing Lines (Dahlia Publishing, 2017). Her shorter creative-critical work has appeared in English and in translation in New Writing Dundee, Women and the Arts, Glänta, and Espace Lesbien Rencontres et Revue d'Etudes Lesbiennes. Her critical writing appears in Critical Race Theory in England (Routledge, 2014), Race Ethnicity and Education, and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, articles emerging from her research funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. She a contributor in a new anthology edited by Kirsty Gunn, Imagined Spaces, to be published in Summer 2020 (Saraband). To complete her novel, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, she was awarded in December 2018 a major grant from The Society of Authors (UK).
Elizabeth Chakrabarty’s first novel is Lessons in Love and Other Crimes. Sold in a world rights pre-empt to The Indigo Press it was published in March 2021! Translation rights are with The Marsh Agency!
Tesya has reasons to feel hopeful after leaving her last job, where she was subjected to a series of anonymous hate crimes. Now she is back home in London to start a new lecturing position, and has begun an exciting, if tumultuous, love affair with the enigmatic Holly. But this idyllic new start quickly sours. Tesya finds herself victimized again at work by an unknown assailant, who subjects her to an insidious, sustained race hate crime. As her paranoia mounts, Tesya finds herself yearning for the most elemental of desires: love, acceptance, and sanctuary. Her assailant, meanwhile, is recording his manifesto, and plotting his next steps. Inspired by the author’s personal experiences of hate crime and bookended with essays which contextualise the story within a lifetime of microaggressions, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is a heart-breaking, hopeful, and compulsively readable novel about the most quotidian of crimes.
Download her exclusive essay On Closure and Crime, written to support the publication of her novel, a free e-book on The Indigo Press website
Cosmopolitan: "A story you won't be able to get out of your head"
Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young: "Fierce, contemporary and completely absorbing…a fresh and forensic novel asking ages-old questions – what makes a writer? What makes a lover? And pressing for our moment now – what makes a racist? Part thriller, part elegy to modern British live…Formally inventive and erotically charged, compassion and intelligence shine through every sentence Chakrabarty writes."
Catherine Mayer: "Gripping and unnerving, a story about the relentlessness of racism."
Tessa McWatt: "An important new voice for our troubled times. Vibrant and passionate storytelling."
Winnie M Li: "A thoughtful exploration of everyday racist aggressions (both micro and more significant) — and the impact they can have on an individual's personal and professional life."
the i paper "An innovative hybrid novel…a multi-layered and thought-provoking work... At the end, Chakrabarty takes a sharp turn into thriller territory, with a dramatic resolution worthy of The Girl on the Train."
Zahra Iqbal, Bad Form Review "Elizabeth Chakrabarty's heartfelt and addictive story is paramount considering the current climate. Her honest approach encourages audiences to discuss the topics unearthed in the book and despite, the awful crimes detailed in the novel, gives a sense of community."
Gal-dem, Travelling to Catalonia and coping with racism in a foreign language