A Mouthful of Silence. 2014. Shortlisted for SI Leeds Literary Prize.
“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” John Banville
A Mouthful of Silence is a literary novel about betrayal and belonging. Written in a first person male voice, it is set in modern day Manchester, against the backdrop of the fashion industry. It explores a middle-aged man’s desire for love and fulfilment and his need to weigh it against loyalties and the expectations of the society around him. The story is not just about a family slowly falling apart, but it also provides a twist on the conventional immigrant story, by challenging assumptions regarding identity, belonging and what it means to grow old and still be consumed by fires. It portrays the arc of an entire lifetime, not just the tug of the past, but also the pull towards a better-imagined future.
This novel is looking for a home…
“Involved and interesting, with a living sense of characters and their worlds.” Tessa Hadley
“(Your) book deserves to be taken seriously.” M J Hyland
Something Black in the Lentil Soup is a comical and irreverent portrayal of three parallel cultures-British, Indian and British-Indian-with penetrating insights into social mores and conventions.
Kavi Naidu arrives in England, a contender for the prestigious Commonwealth literary prize. A pompous, sentimental and not terribly attractive figure, he is suddenly catapulted from the sleepy humdrum routine of Delhi, into the heady distractions of London.
‘If you took the second road to the right of Minto Bridge, past the washerwomen’s bustee and Balwant Rai’s teashop, stopping just before the Delhi branch of the Church of Scientology, you would reach our house. The household, consisting of my parents, my wife Kamala and Feroze, my son occupied the ground floor of number twenty-three Rouse Avenue. These were a modest set of flats built for Ministry babus with modest official means. It was a colony of bicycles and two-wheeler Vespas and housewives who grumbled over the price of sugar. Only Mr Basu, our upstairs neighbour, boasted a car, a Fiat Padmini that coughed into life during the Pooja holidays, when Mr Basu visited his relatives in Chitteranjan Park. ‘
“Reshma Ruia’s warm, sly humour and sharp eye for human failings brings Kavi and all those around him vividly to life in this entertaining tale of an innocent abroad.” Rosemary Hudson
“Ironic humour and a fierce wit combine in his haunting Tale of East meets West.” Gary Pulsifer, Arcadia