Gia and Serena Pirji are sisters, but as the first-generation born in Canada to immigrant parents, their lives play out in different ways because of their skin tone. Gia’s fair skin grants her membership to cliques of white kids as a teen, while Serena’s dark skin means she is labelled as Indian and treated as inferior. This superficial difference, imposed by a society obsessed with skin colour and hierarchy, sets the sisters into a dynamic that plays out throughout their lives. In a world where white skin is preferable, the sisters are pitted against each other through acts of revenge and competition as they experience adultery, ruined friendships, domestic abuse, infertility and motherhood.
Taslim Burkowicz’s vivid, sensory-rich writing style brings readers to the party scene in Goa, suburban supermarkets in Vancouver and a safari in Africa, where Gia and Serena navigate through the highs and lows of a tumultuous, loving relationship. The Desirable Sister reveals the bitter games of treachery women are forced to play to achieve the ranks of beauty and success, and ultimately shows the strength of love between sisters.
Taslim Burkowicz’s work is inspired both by her Indo-Canadian heritage, as well as her global travels and experiences. Her first novel, Chocolate Cherry Chai, was listed on CBC Books’ 2017 Fall Preview list. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and education from Simon Fraser University. Taslim resides with her husband and three boys in Surrey, B.C., where she focuses on writing, running and dancing.
“Presented like a kaleidoscopic tapestry, we watch with fascination as Gia and Serena come of age and emerge from the grip of race and colour to become independent young women. Taslim Burkowicz is a masterful storyteller of intimate details that are surprising and sometimes shocking. ”
— Simon Choa-Johnston, author of The House of Wives
“Like a beautifully woven sari, this Indo-Canadian author’s second novel brings together a range of strands to create a remarkable final piece…Readers will come away touched and with plenty to think about. ”
— Winnipeg Free Press
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