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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 April 2010.
A Life Apart is a scalding novel about dislocations and alienations, about the tenuous and unconscious intersections of lives and histories and about the consolations of storytelling.
Ritwik Ghosh, twenty-two and recently orphaned, finds the chance to start a new life when he arrives in England from Calcutta. But to do so, he must not only relive his entire past but also try and understand it. Moreover, he must make sense of his relationship with his mother - scarred, abusive and all-consuming. But Oxford holds little of the salvation Ritwik is looking for. Instead he moves to London, where he drops out of official existence into a shadowy hinterland of illegal immigrants. However, the story that Ritwik writes to stave off his utter and complete loneliness - a Miss Gilby who teaches English, music and Western manners to the wife of educated zamindar - begins to find ghostly echoes in his life with his aged landlady, Anne Cameron. And then, one night, in the badlands of King's Cross, Ritwik runs into Zafar bin Hashm, suave, impossibly rich, unfathomable, possible arms dealer. What does the drive to redemption hold for lost Ritwik? Set in 1970s and 80s India, 90s England and in the first decade of twentieth-century Bengal, A Life Apart is a scalding novel about dislocations and alienations, about the tenuous and unconscious intersections of lives and histories and about the consolations of storytelling. Above all, it is about the impossibilities of love.
"Incisive and poetic, sensual and intelligent, a novel with great breadth, heart and courage."
"The writing ... has a sculptured clarity. Assured and fearless ... This is subtle, precise writing that penetrates character and motive with astringent humour." The Times
"There are a lot of subtle cultural ironies in Neel Mukherjee"s debut novel, which is what makes the book such a delight ... A Life Apart is an elegant and accomplished debut, a novel of many shades. It blends the poignancy of a coming-of-age story with the rawer excitements of an urban thriller laced with sex and violence." The Sunday Telegraph
Publication date: 27/01/2011
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Publication date: 28/01/2010
Publisher: Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson
|Publication date:||28th January 2010|
|Publisher:||Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson|
Neel Mukherjee was born in Calcutta and educated in Calcutta, Oxford, and Cambridge. He reviews fiction for The Times and Time Magazine Asia and has written for the TLS, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the New York Times, the Boston Review, the Sunday Telegraph and Biblio. He is also a contributing editor to the Boston Review. He divides his time between London and the USA. A Life Apart is his first novel.More About Neel Mukherjee