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Things My Mother Told Me

Tanya Atapattu

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A touching, moving and funny novel about love, loss, family, cultural divides and the voices we all hear inside our heads - perfect for readers of Rowan Coleman and Shappi Khorsandi

I've read lots of stories about Asian mothers, seen various send-ups of them on TV programmes and watched all the standard Asian coming-of-age films. I've seen lots of send-ups about mothers in general, Asian or not. I don't want to make my mum out to be just another caricature. But sometimes she can make it really difficult.

When Anjali finds out that Jack, her boyfriend of ten years, has been cheating on her, it throws her world into chaos. Heartbroken, she fills the emptiness by embarking on a series of flings that her traditional Sri Lankan mother would (mostly) disapprove of.

Yet she can no longer avoid her mother or Shanthi, her distant older sister. And so begins her real journey, one that will make Anjali confront a past she's been desperate to forget. But maybe the past can also be the bridge to her future . . .

Travelling between England and Sri Lanka, Things My Mother Told Me is a warm, moving and funny story about love, loss, family, cultural divides and the voices we hear in our heads. It will stay with you long after you've turned the final page.

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Tanya Atapattu

Tanya Atapattu is a writer and a doctor. She has worked in general medicine in Liverpool and London, as well as volunteering in Malawi. She now specialises in psychiatry. Outside of her medical career, writing is her passion. She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has previously been longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition and Bath Novel Award. Tanya lives in Bristol with her partner and two children. Things My Mother Told Me is her first novel.