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    Avni Doshi

    Top Ten Books

    “I think bad writing is essential,” Avni Doshi told The Rumpus. “Bad writing is the most important thing for learning how to write.” It took eight drafts before Doshi felt ready to publish her debut novel, Burnt Sugar, but the revisions paid off: the book landed on the 2020 Booker Prize shortlist. Built around a knotty mother-daughter relationship in Pune, India, the book has earned plaudits for Doshi’s refusal to sugarcoat her protagonist, making her challenging to like. "I wanted to push boundaries," she has said. "If that ends up feeling destabilizing for the reader, that’s okay." Born in New Jersey, Avni Doshi moved to India, after completing an MA in London, to curate, and write about, South Asian contemporary art. It was there in 2012 that she wrote what would become the first draft of Burnt Sugar, winning the Tibor Jones South Asia prize for an unpublished manuscript and, with it, an agent. Check out draft number 8, which has just been published stateside by The Overlook Press, available here. Below are Avni Doshi's favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set. See the full list...

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    Samantha Power


    We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria

    Wendy Pearlman

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    Zoe Lister-Jones


    Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

    Judy Blume

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    Misty Copeland


    Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

    Kevin Noble Maillard

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    Michael Ian Black


    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    E.L. Konigsburg

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    Brandon Taylor



    Elizabeth Bishop

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    Maaza Mengiste


    Song of Solomon

    Toni Morrison

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    Tsitsi Dangarembga


    Small Country

    Gaël Faye

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    Douglas Stuart


    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

    Jeanette Winterson

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    Lily Cole


    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

    Yuval Noah Harari

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