Author, actress, comedian and an impressive three decades into her career, Meera Syal CBE, is gearing up for the exciting release of her new book, The House of Hidden Mothers on 4th June
Welcome to Little India, situated in East London: Shyama, aged forty-four, has fallen for a younger man. They want a child together. Meanwhile, in a rural village in India, young Mala, trapped in an oppressive marriage, dreams of escape. When Shyama and Mala meet, they help each other realise their dreams. But will fate guarantee them both happiness?
Author, actress, comedian and an impressive three decades into her career, Meera Syal CBE, is gearing up for the exciting release of her new book, The House of Hidden Mothers. One of the most acclaimed actors and writers of stage and screen, Syal has already achieved great success with scripts, TV shows and novels. Versatile in her talents, Syal’s latest and much anticipated release arrives nearly 16 years after her last book, Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee.
Never afraid to push the boundaries in discussing topical issues facing the Asian community, The House of Hidden Mothers follows in the same vein as Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee in its determination to tackle difficult topics. Late parenthood and surrogacy is not often openly discussed, although it is extremely prevalent in the British Asian community. With many ‘late-mothers’ returning to India in search of surrogates, there are now roughly 3,000 clinics that provide in vitro fertilisation in India. Every year, the country sees anywhere from 100 to 300 surrogate pregnancies, making it the surrogacy capital of the world.
Taking on such a sensitive topic is no easy feat, but Syal’s powerful novel is underpinned by female friendship, motherhood and love. Armed with the unique ability to connect with her British Asian audience through compelling storytelling, Syal’s novel is beautifully descriptive. Readers will immediately connect with Shyama’s perception of Modern India, as Syal takes the reader on an emotional journey alongside the novel’s protagonist.
Author Meera Syal comments: “Surrogacy is a sensitive topic but one I was keen to tackle because I was fascinated by it. My favourite book – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, focuses on outsourcing fertility and I’d also once seen a documentary on the popularity of surrogacy in India, which was incredibly moving. Many people don’t realise that the world’s centre for surrogacy is in fact India, because it’s so cheap and there are no restrictions. For me, the topic is a perfect area to delve into. It’s about women, it’s about the politics of women and fertility, it’s about India and Britain, and I was very inspired to write it.”
Famous for her comedy roles on television in Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42 and more recently in David Walliams’ BBC film The Boy in the Dress. Meera’s book is a departure from her comedic television appearances. Engaging and moving, The House of Hidden Mothers is certainly one of 2015’s must-reads.
The book will be published in hard back by Doubleday on 4th June 2015 at £14.99.