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.
‘One of the most gripping and powerful books I’ve ever read; I feel so represented as a queer, brown woman.’
‘A story you won’t be able to get out of your head.’
‘Fierce, contemporary and completely absorbing, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is 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 life, this novel will shock some readers while others will cheer as Elizabeth Chakrabarty ties the many threads of an everyday crime into an extraordinary lovers’ knot. Formally inventive and erotically charged, compassion and intelligence shine through every sentence Chakrabarty writes.’
—Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young
‘Gripping and unnerving, a story about the relentlessness of racism.’
‘An important new voice for our troubled times. Vibrant and passionate storytelling.’
‘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.’
—Winnie M Li