Writer Rosalyn D’Mello’s first book, A handbook for my lover, makes a firm imprint on the much neglected genre of erotic memoir writing. What does one expect from a memoir of a relationship? This one goes beyond the normal confines of a love “story”. It chronicles the relationship between the young writer and her partner who is twice her age. This is done in a completely, and refreshingly non-chronological way. She describes the essence of their relationship in brutally honest terms. It takes you through their relationship without being voyeristic at all, engaging in some simple and some deep philosophical meanderings. Furthermore, given her literature background, there is a generous striking of literary quotes and references!
This is a book where the delicate sensual prose is all pervasive whether she is describing love, eating or the mere act of living! It elevates common actions and feelings to a pedestal where only good language can take them. It would be right to say that perhaps the more erotic parts of the book are in the descriptions of food!
Writing erotic fiction or an erotic memoir may seem easy. In truth, this is not always so. When this genre coincides with a personal memoir, it lays the self bare. In a society like ours, it takes a lot of risk and courage to do that. There is the risk of baring one’s relationship and its core, and the doubt if it will be able to take in this kind of scrutiny. In this case, I believe that the risk has paid off!
This is an apt read if you want to devour some really good writing and observe a compelling use of language while getting a glimpse into the life of a young modern Indian woman- a woman who is clear about her demands and desires even while she negotiates her way into the relationship, celebrating the transient with great aplomb!
Published by Harper Collins, 2015