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Cover for A Life Apart

A Life Apart

A Novel

Neel Mukherjee


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"A brilliant first novel . . . shockingly good." —Rose Tremain, Daily Telegraph

Ritwik Ghosh, twenty-two and recently orphaned, finds the chance to start a new life when he arrives in England from Calcutta. 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. The story that Ritwik writes to stave off his loneliness begins to find ghostly echoes in his own life. And, as present and past of several lives collide, Ritwik’s own goes into free fall.

Praise For A Life Apart: A Novel

Historical and contemporary, lit with flashes of magic and violence, this intriguing novel offers multifaceted portraits of India and England as seen from the perspective of a clever, burdened misfit.
— Huffington Post

Consistently confounding expectations,
Mukherjee’s story of the gathering descent of a solitary soul is both poignant
and unsentimental, the work of a notably sophisticated writer.
— Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

An elegant and accomplished debut…blends the poignancy of a coming-of-age story with the rawer excitements of an urban thriller.
— Sunday Telegraph

Mukherjee writes wryly and wonderfully…deeply engaging and brilliantly observed.
— The Independent

The writing…has a sculptured clarity. Assured and fearless…This is subtle, precise writing that penetrates character and motive with astringent humor.
— Helen Dunmore - The Times (London)

In this brilliant mixture of history, philosophy and science, psychiatrist and historian George Makari explores the origins of our ideas about self and that ephemeral phenomenon, the mind…Insightful, thought-provoking and encyclopedic.
— Nature

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393352108, 384pp.

Publication Date: March 14, 2016

About the Author

Calcutta-born Neel Mukherjee is the author of three acclaimed novels. A State of Freedom was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and The Lives of Others was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Mukherjee divides his time between London and the US.