Let Us Look Elsewhere and Other Stories, published by Dahlia Books, UK

Shortlisted for the 2018 SI Leeds Literary Prize.

You can order Let us Look Elsewhere at Amazon UK, Waterstones and Dahlia Books.

Or you can purchase it directly from this website using the following ‘Add to Cart’ button (£10.00 + P&P to be agreed):

Bundle discounts are also available. Please contact Mona for details.

Read an extract at The Citron Review.

Praise for Let Us Look Elsewhere:

‘It was a pleasure to read Mona’s writing for the first time, when she was shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize, and to introduce her work to the world. She is a writer of rare bravery, putting forward a manifesto against the tropes and delighting in subverting expectations.’ Roopa Farooki, Author

‘The powerful collection of short stories by Mona Dash, Let us Look Elsewhere literally takes us across the world: to Europe, the US, India, Britain and also into the lives of a wide range of very different characters, some of whom reflect darker elements of human behaviour and experience.’ Susheila Nasta, 2018 SI Leeds Literary Prize chair of judges

‘Mona Dash has produced an unflinching collection of short stories, demonstrating that she is a fearless writer, unafraid to reveal her characters flaws and extremes as they search for a sense of identity and belonging.’ Joe Melia, Bristol Short Story Prize Co-ordinator

‘These atmospheric stories travel across continents and time, offering surprising and intriguing incursions into the disparate moments of solitary lives.’ Amanthi Harris, Author

‘A wonderful, richly rendered and triumphant collection. Highly recommended.’ Irenosen Okojie, Author

Reviews

‘Mona Dash’s short story collection is a fascinating concoction of characters and stories drawn from different corners of the world. The opening story (which lends the book its title) grabs the reader’s attention immediately. Brimming with confidence, the writer demands the reader trust her with the stories she wants to tell instead of narrating the ones expected of her. The story begins audaciously, and the piece quickly garners admiration as Dash sets out her argument and ultimately wins over the reader.’ By Asha Krishna. Read more at TSS Publishing.

‘Prepare to be annoyed, Mona Dash warns the reader on the first page of her debut collection of stories. Those expecting to find tales of saris and jasmine will be disappointed, she says. Instead, the reader should prepare for stories which have not been told before: the voices traditionally marginalized by those belonging to the powerful and the erudite. Thus Dash sets out her manifesto in the opening chapter of the book. The following stories certainly live up to the promise of diversity. For backdrops, we are taken on a whistle-stop tour of the world. Dash evokes Reykjavík as skilfully as Las Vegas, while the tropical heat of India is showcased several times.’ By Jane Wallace. Read more at Asian Review of Books.

‘The stories are neatly laid out – beautifully crafted gems adorn this crown of a collection. But the most impressive aspect of the collection is a combination of confidence and conviction – confidence in her craft and the conviction with which she tells her stories. A fascinating, bold debut that enthralls the reader right from the outset.’ Read more at onerightword.

Let Us Look Elsewhere by Mona Dash is a collection of short stories that will make you look elsewhere with eager eyes. Every time I opened this collection I looked forward to reading a new story. I never knew where the author would take me next, to different times and places all across the world where I could learn about so many different lives and settings. Imaginative, risk-taking and always surprising, this collection of short stories is a joy to read.’ By Tracy Fells. Read more at The Literary Pig.


Winner of an Eyelands Book Award 2020

Mona is the winner of the Eyelands Book Award 2020 in the Memoir / Historical fiction category for A Roll of the Dice.

What the judges said :
‘This is a story of loss, love and genetics, as Mona Dash, the author, indicates with her subtitle and indeed each one of these themes plays a key part in this very sensitive memoir about the adventure of a mother whose newborn baby’s life is in danger. But this is just the beginning of an astonishing narrative of a contemporary life drama. Perfectly written in an unadorned, powerfully subtle style, demonstrating a deep knowledge of human – and especially female – nature, without superfluous outbursts and therefore even more stunning. A Roll of the Dice is at the same time touching and riveting from cover to cover.’

Read more details about the award here.


Mona’s interview with poet Usha Kishore in the Setu

UK : I have read this book, a few times. Each time, I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and hope filling my heart. Did you think that A Roll of the Dice would affect emotional healing?

MD: Thank you, that’s so gratifying to know! I hadn’t thought of it as helping anyone else heal. I think, for me it had been about sharing information, giving hope to anyone fighting and trying to overcome the odds. It was all about a struggle.

When one faces a terrible loss, everyone says time heals, and though it is such a cliché; time does dull the sharp edge of pain. But healing comes only when you face the intense pain and then transgress it. Healing is soothing, subtle! So, I am really touched when someone says they found the book healing. For a writer, this is the greatest gift!

UK: I am really inspired by the epilogue – the reflections on faith. What made you include this epilogue?

After going through this veritable rollercoaster of a journey, I wanted to end on a note of calmness and stillness. I wanted to highlight my own learnings, but not in a preachy dos and don’ts manner. I felt this was the best way to write it, and the publisher had commented that ‘it read like a prayer.’ It is also a reminder to myself, that things may not always be ideal, but it is important to remember that ‘light enters through the chinks, to know that your life has to go through the struggle it has chosen.

Read the complete interview here.