The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons by Ashok Ferrey

Category: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Rights: World rights available (excluding Indian subcontinent)

‘I was born ugly. That’s what my mother always said.’

So begins the story of young Sonny Mahadewala who leads a dual life: between his adoptive England where he cohabits with a privileged American, and the mixed blessings of Mahadewala Walauwa—the big house on the mountain belonging to his father’s people in Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka—where a troubled existence has earned him both honour and shame. For Sonny’s mother, a wonderfully maleficent anti-heroine, is convinced that demons possess this ugly son of hers. Demons and the devil himself circumscribe the playing field of this book, whether seated in the draughty chapels of Oxford or roaming the Kandyan countryside and, through their clever interplay, they speak of larger horrors with able grace.

For who in this world is utterly good or utterly evil—and who, indeed, is the devil?