A Life Apart – Reviews

‘The writing … has a sculptured clarity. Assured and fearless. … This is subtle, precise writing that penetrates character and motive with astringent humour.’ HELEN DUNMORE, 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.’ DAVID ROBSON, The Sunday Telegraph.

‘Mukherjee deftly interweaves the worlds of the arms trade, sex workers, fruit pickers and the Daily Mail, while also casting a light on the economic policies of the Raj, communal violence and the fragility of relationships conducted under the glare of history. But he never loses sight of his characters and their emotional upheaval. The growing tension is expertly handled; the ending unsurprising yet completely devastating.’ KAMILA SHAMSIE, The Guardian.

‘Rich and nuanced … Mukherjee is excellent on what motivates people to act the way they do.’ The Daily Telegraph.

‘Impressive. … Mukherjee writes wryly and wonderfully. … Not since Alan Hollinghurst’s The Swimming Pool Library have I been as engaged by an imagining of gay twilight. … Deeply engaging and brilliantly observed.’ MARK TURNER, The Independent.

‘Mukherjee summons place and character brilliantly and unflinchingly in pages redolent with detail. His metaphysical vision, of course, is just as acute.’ TIME Magazine.

‘Ambitious and subtly written.’ The Sunday Times.

‘Beautifully written and intelligently perceptive, A Life Apart is a novel about difference and expectation and the ironies that punctuate the middle ground between them. … A wonderfully assured and fresh debut’. ROSALIND PORTER, Literary Review.