Elizabeth Chakrabarty

The Indigo Press is an independent publisher of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, based in London. Guided by a spirit of internationalism, feminism and social justice, we publish books to make readers see the world afresh, question their behaviour and beliefs, and imagine a better future.

Author photograph © Jason Keith

Elizabeth Chakrabarty

Elizabeth Chakrabarty is an interdisciplinary writer who uses creative and critical writing, besides performance, to explore themes of race, gender and sexuality. Her debut novel Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, inspired by experience of race hate crime, was published in 2021 by The Indigo Press, along with her essay ‘On Closure and Crime’. In the USA Lessons in Love and Other Crimes was selected as a Top-Shelf title for promotion in the Trafalgar Square/ IPG Fall 2021 campaign to retailers and libraries.

In 2022 Elizabeth was longlisted for both the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Polari First Book Prize, for Lessons in Love and Other Crimes. She was also shortlisted for the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2022, and her story ‘That Last Summer’ was published in The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2022: Crime Stories by Comma Press. She was shortlisted for the Asian Writer Short Story Prize in 2016, and her story ‘Eurovision’ was published in Dividing Lines (Dahlia, 2017). Her poetry has been published by Visual Verse, and her short creative-critical work includes writing published in Gal-Dem, New Writing Dundee, Wasafiri, and the anthology Imagined Spaces (Saraband, 2020), and in translation, by Glänta and Deus Ex Machina. She received an Authors’ Foundation Grant from The Society of Authors (UK) in December 2018, to support the writing of Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, and she was chosen as one of the runners up for the inaugural CrimeFest bursary for crime fiction authors of colour in 2022. She lives in London.

Lessons In Love and Other Crimes

Shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2022 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022.

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 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.

On Closure & Crime

‘Twice in my life, when I’ve least expected it – relaxed in a bar with acquaintances, a glass of wine in my hand – someone has asked me this question: “When did you realize you’re not white?”’

Read Elizabeth Chakrabarty’s exclusive essay On Closure and Crime, written to support the publication of her novel Lessons in Love and Other Crimes.

Check out Elizabeth’s list of books that inspired her book Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, from Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, to Sigmund Freud’s Writings On Art and Literature.

This is the YA novel so many of us wish we’d had when we were young: a fast-paced intercultural Romeo and Juliet which inverts our contemporary racial power balance, exposing how and why white privilege and power works against racial justice.
A glorious long novel that plays with the form, while being as absorbing as its mesmerising and mysterious characters on the Greek island where we are taken in a feat of storytelling.
An intense and entertaining crime thriller, based on true experience, of an author being stalked in this technological era where those working in the public eye are easily contactable.
An absorbing literary novel set in the university of the twenty-first century in the precarious era of academic redundancies and student activism, and of five people searching for something more, in their overlapping and intercutting journeys across London’s metropolis.
This warm, humane, funny and sometimes tragic Booker-winning novel immerses the reader in the interconnected worlds of its female characters, from girls to women in the 80s, up to this new era of non-binary gender, sexuality and giving voice to the other; a ground-breaking novel centring the black female gaze.
Rapidly written and published, in this slim volume of essays Zadie Smith’s as always acute eye explores the video-calls, work and privilege of this Covid-era.
By Britain’s most prolific playwright more appreciated on the continent of Europe than at home, Neighbourhood Watch, like Ayckbourn’s other works, appears as domestic comedy but shines a light on insidious undercurrents lurking beneath the veneer of British apparent-social respectability.
This beautiful heart-breaking but life-affirming novel starting after World War Two, takes the reader backwards in time to the blitz, exploring how memories triggered in the present by the psychological and real bombs detonated in the past, leave shards in the four characters’ present poignant lives where they excavate what’s left of love and power after loss.
A gripping seeming meta-fiction, a blur of author memoir and intriguing literary thriller: an author called Delphine makes a new friend, and this friendship takes over her life and even her writing, and then rapidly becomes a disturbance to her whole existence.
This is ground-breaking powerful twenty-first century poetry that asks questions of art, culture and individuals, exposing the dangerous minutiae and machinations of white privilege, in interpersonal relations and in the public sphere.
The father of psychoanalysis, Freud explores the lessons of humanity and inhumanity from literature and art in these key essays, including ‘The ‘Uncanny’’ and ‘Psychopathic Characters on the Stage’.

Book reading

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