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A State of Freedom

A Novel

Neel Mukherjee (Author)

Overview | Formats

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

A devastating novel of multiple narratives, “a mark of Neel Mukherjee’s range and force and ambition” (New York Times Book Review).

A State of Freedom wrests open the central, defining events of our century: displacement and migration. Five characters, in very different circumstances—from a domestic cook in Mumbai to a vagrant and his dancing bear—find out the meanings of dislocation and the desire to get more out of life.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 2019
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35669-4
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverA State of Freedom: A Novel


Endorsements & Reviews

“[Mukherjee’s] writing is simply gorgeous.… A State of Freedom is a marvel of a book, shocking and beautiful, and it proves that Mukherjee is one of the most original and talented authors working today.” — NPR

“The most astonishing and brilliant novel I have read in a long, long time.” — Hanya Yanagihara

“Mukherjee looks straight at the ugliest parts of an unequal society and uses what he finds to construct something beautiful.” — Harper’s

“Neel Mukherjee has a genius for storytelling.… [He’s] a writer of abundant gifts.” — Seattle Times

“Many of the sections are sprinkled with otherworldly moments and spectral figures, so that these narratives read almost like ghost stories, while others are rooted firmly in the achingly realistic, unequal, and unjust soil of modern day India.” — Boston Globe

“Experimental.… The characters are connected less by the slender narrative thread than by their acute awareness of inequity.” — The New Yorker

“A writer who can envelop you in the worlds he creates, and whose piercing eye for detail can send you reeling.… [Mukherjee] seeds his tales with images of unexpected beauty… an extraordinary account of the tenacious will to survive.” — The Times

“Dostoevsky-like in its juxtaposition of unbearable cruelty with an equally unbearable yearning for security and love.… [A State of Freedom is] a powerful, memorable treatment of a theme too often reduced to uninvolving didacticism.” — Sunday Times

“His best work yet.… This bleak and entirely justified vision of modern India is what binds together Mukherjee’s stories and indeed his oeuvre.” — Financial Times

“Uniquely suited to depicting the operation of fate and coincidence, and to showing relationships and characters from a variety of angles.… Unsparing.” — Newsday

Also by Neel Mukherjee All

  1. Book CoverA Life Apart: A Novel


  2. Book CoverThe Lives of Others


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