Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose is a dazzling debut novel that revolutionizes age-old ideas of love and deceit. She shares her inspiration of the main characters and their complex friendships.
When I moved to Ireland in 2015 I didn’t know anybody apart from my (then) boyfriend. I’d picked Ireland to relocate to partly because of him, because he’s Irish, and also because I had been accepted to the Masters in Creative Writing course at UCD.. I was prepared to make a new life here, but I hadn’t factored in how difficult it was going to be to fill my life with people.
I’ve always been a bit of a recluse, enjoying my own silent company over a crowd. I’ve repeatedly chosen to read or binge-watch a series at home rather than spend the night out with friends. However, even I couldn’t ignore my pangs of longing when I glimpsed pairs of friends at cafés, letting their beverages go cold while locked in private conversations.
What I did quickly discover is that making new friends as an adult, with other adults who have their daily routines dictated by responsibilities and other social commitments, is as nerve-wracking and unreliable as modern dating. The rules of building a casual friendship can be just as complicated if not more.
I was fretting over the timeliness of texts, didn’t want to appear over-eager, had to find gentle ways to drop the friendships I didn’t want to pursue, had to brush up my small-talk skills, I was worried about what to wear, and how much of myself to reveal. None of them were feeling as organic and seamless as friendships of past, the ones that were built on shared histories and experiences. The ones that were made on account of being thrown together in the same place at the same time. As adults with choice, we can be indecisive and nit-picky.
I became interested in the complexities of female friendships then, and the COVID Lockdowns added another aspect of interactions when most of our communications were held online and through social media. I wrote Dirty Laundry in those months of Lockdown, when social isolation was at its peak. Most of my characters were constructed based on these observations; on the fine line that a lot of our friendships tread, on missed connections, miscommunications and first impressions. I hope that I’ve written a novel that reminds us of the value of human connection, and to be kinder to one another.
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