We Do Not Make Love Here
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Finalist for the 2022 Epigram Books Fiction Prize
Chandru, a third-generation Singaporean, realises his ambition through an arranged marriage. His wife, Meera, fights her fate by living a double life. Unhappily married, they make sense of their decisions through a study of their own past. Siddharth, their only son, is practically raised next door with their neighbour’s granddaughter Malli.
As the childhood best friends grow up, they helplessly watch their tumultuous love tear them apart. A generation raised on the Singaporean dream gives birth to another sheltered in its shadows. They are not the marginalised or the oppressed, merely the majority doing their best.
"One can’t help but feel emotionally connected to the characters in Nisha Mehraj’s We Do Not Make Love Here. Each of them is a narrator in this complex family saga, sharing intimate details of their lives, seeking validation, or even justification, for their actions...as if they have never been heard, or seen. For the people closest to them are those whom they push away most."
—Haresh Sharma, resident playwright for The Necessary Stage
"A tightly focused story with an intense spotlight on the deep subjectivities of seemingly everyday ordinary people. The ebb and flow of the narrative, moving back and forth spatially and temporally, is sustained by the psychologies, psychoses, frustrations and anxieties that are so often the very atoms that make up the humanities within which all of us reside. Over it all is the mantel of time and how it flies: impervious, inexorable, indifferent and disinterested, peppered by love and hate, desires and disgust, attacks and retreats and, always, the implacable dissonance of experience. And found throughout is a strong, visceral presence of women—as daughters, wives, mothers, girlfriends and workers—which serves to knit the story together. Profound."
—T. Sasitharan, cultural commentator, Cultural Medallion winner and EBFP 2022 judge
Nisha Mehraj left full-time teaching and became a private tutor so she could pursue writing. The only home she has ever known is Singapore, yet she lives vicariously through her characters and escapes into the safety of the worlds she creates. It was her grandmother’s passion for life that fuelled Nisha's own ambitions; she'd like to think she made her proud. Her short story “Chai” was published in Mascara Literary Review in 2012. We Do Not Make Love Here is her first novel.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 248
Year Published: 2022
Size: 225mm x 152mm