Melody Razak
AUTHOR

Melody Razak

I am a British Iranian writer from London, with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. I have had short stories published in the Mechanics Institute Review, the Bath Short Story Anthology and the Brick Lane Short Story Prize. Previous to writing, I owned treacle&co, a cafe in Brighton and more recently worked in the kitchens of Honey and Co in London as a pastry chef. The inspiration for Moth came one evening when I was at work at the cafe, probably icing a cake, and listening to a Radio 4 program called 'Partition Voices.' The raw emotion behind the words of the survivors interviewed struck my heart. I started to think about the nature of story telling, of oral history telling, the differences between historical fact and the most intimate memories of the individual. It seemed to me that the unreliable stories passed down through memory were as important, in piecing together a moment in time, as the statistics. There was something behind the said words - especially those of the women interviewed, the nuances of what they didn't say, the silences - that stayed with me. Moth is a narrative that attempts to understand, not only the grand political and geographical scale of Partition, the shocking brutality of a country unraveling overnight, but the minutes of an individual woman's life. It explores how women survive in times of trauma and crisis. How the hearth and domestic rituals become a lifeline. I spent an extraordinary year researching and traveling through India while I was writing Moth. The food I ate, the temples I visited, the people I spoke to and the long train journeys from one end of the country to the other, all have a place in the pages of the novel. Moth is my debut novel and I currently live in Brighton.
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