Monday, May 23, 2022

Spotlight of Mud Lilies by Indra Ramayan


Debut novelist Indra Ramayan has used the experiences of her youth, running away from an abusive home at sixteen and working to support herself first as a taxi driver and then as an exotic dancer to form the basis of her stunning debut novel, MUD LILIES.
Ramayan’s Chanie Nyrider is an unforgettable heroine, kicked down by life more than once, she rises from the depths of her terrible upbringing to become the architect of her own version of a happiness, away from the rough streets and a toxic relationship.
Cormorant Books; May 17, 2022



“Now and then a writer comes along who reawakens my lust for great, passionate, unadorned storytelling. Indra Ramayan is that writer. Mud Lilies is a beautifully executed, street-smart emotional tour-de force that is destined to seduce generations of readers.” – Joel Thomas Hynes, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning author of We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night


“The world needs Chanie Nyrider! This novel took me to the depths of frustration and despair, and then Chanie dug us back out again. Mud Lilies is a tremendously moving debut with a riveting story that makes me believe in the possibility of redemption and recovery even from the worst traumas. I want to give this book to every girl who has ever struggled. Mud Lilies is a must read for those who have found themselves in a such a dark place that they believed there was no way out. Indra Ramayan fills me with hope.” – Angie Abdou, author of This One Wild Life and In Case I Go


“Indra Ramayan’s novel, Mud Lilies, begins with an image of a puppet dancing for the devil. Chanie Nyrider, one of the most compelling characters I’ve read in long while, is that dancer. She is tough, and infuriating, delightful, and utterly human. And her voice is undeniably beautiful. I was drawn in and fell in love with this character. Mud Lilies is a gorgeous, layered journey of reclamation – a gritty story about salvation and the persistence of love. Love is an unexpected thing in Chanie’s life as she believes she does not deserve it, is unworthy of it – and yet, it arrives from unlikely places. Kindness surprises her. Unrequired kindness threatens to break her. And we love her for this. We root for Chanie. We root for all the Chanie Nyriders in the world. Indra Ramayan is a fantastic writer. I look forward to seeing this book in print, and I can hardly wait for her next book.” – Thomas Trofimuk award-winning author of The 52nd Poem and Doubting Yourself to the Bone



MUD LILIES tells the story of Chanie Nyrider, a very young girl who runs away from home and finds herself taken in by a replacement mother figure who quickly turns out to have ulterior motives for befriending Chanie. 

Before long, she is working as a high-end prostitute on the streets of Edmonton, and, after being violated by a john, she finds herself in jail for trashing a motel room when the perpetrator is nowhere to be found. 

Given the choice between jail time and a high school program for troubled youth, she reluctantly chooses the latter. But much to her surprise, she finds her voice in the program, begins making actual friends, and blossoms, slowly leaving behind the dark vestiges of her old life and learning she deserves a more hopeful future.

This gorgeous debut is, in many ways, a tribute not only to the women Ramayan met while driving her taxi, but also to the author’s younger self, from the strong, confident woman she became.
Much like Ramayan, Chanie learns throughout the course of the novel to embrace her own inner strength and stop apologizing for things she never should have apologized for.




Tricia Victoria Photography

Inspired by her wild past and writers such as Heather O’Neill and Angie Abdou, Indra Ramayan wrote MUD LILIES while studying creative writing at Athabasca University.
While her current career in finance has, as she says, “forced her to tuck away the wild child within,” the experiences of her youth, including the time she spent living with a violent man, have helped form the basis for her powerful debut novel, MUD LILIES which tells the story of the
unforgettable, unsinkable Chanie Nyrider.
She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

1 comment:

  1. Mud Lilies is a great read. I highly recommend it.