#LessonsInLoveAndOtherCrimes by @DrNChakrabarty

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 contextualize the story within a lifetime of microaggressions, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is a heartbreaking, hopeful, and compulsively readable novel about the most quotidian of crimes.

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In the future, there is a body.

1, LOVE IN THE DARK

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(@PressIndigoThe, 15 April 2021, 272 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed)

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GET A COPY

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This is a new author for me. I had no idea what to expect when I started to read this but it sounded like something very different from the books I usually read and something I’d really enjoy. I was engrossed, almost obsessed from the first few pages. The book uses an unusual structure in that there is a lengthy autobiographical introduction about how the author’s own life and experiences of racism and harassment served as the catalyst for the book. There are also author notes included after some chapters which reflect on important moments in the book. These sections may sound intrusive and I expected them to be but they really weren’t. They just made the book richer and more enjoyable. I’m a white woman and I haven’t experienced any form of racism but I could still relate to the author’s experiences because I was bullied in school because I liked to read and was overweight. I loved the way the events move from Tesya’s experience of racism in her last job to her experiences in her new job which horrifying mirror what happened the previous year. I felt every moment of her terror and confusion as she wonders, how can this be happening again? This is an incredible book.

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