A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee

A State of Freedom

A devastating and powerful vision of a people defined by that most unquenchable human urge, the striving for a different life.Can we transform the possibilities we are born into? 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 the meanings of dislocation and the desire to...

Details A State of Freedom

TitleA State of Freedom
Release DateJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreFiction, Cultural, India, Short Stories, Contemporary, Asia

Reviews A State of Freedom

  • Diane S ☔
    Stories connected by both a common theme and recurring characters in some, five stories in total. He should us an India, where the wealthy can live down the block from the slums, though the slums are hidden behind a sea wall. Where people are trying to better their lives grabbing at chances for either themselves or their children. The second story is by far the easiest, at least emotionally to read. A young man return from America for a month wit...
  • Peter Boyle
    I began reading this novel last week when a Guardian review tipped it as a Booker Prize contender. In the end it didn't make a fiercely competitive longlist and I can kind of see why. But in spite of some minor flaws, there is a lot to like about it.The book is a collection of five interconnected tales, all set in present day India. In the first, a US-based lecturer returns to his homeland with his six-year-old son and experiences a growing sense...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This book reads more like five novellas or short stories rather than a novel, although I did spot a few connections between stories (at least one between #2 and #4.)The fifth story is all one sentence.The fourth story is multiple sections following young girls from rural areas. One, the primary character, is forced to leave home and school at age 8 to contribute to the income of her family, and endures endless hardship. Her childhood best friend ...
  • Eric Anderson
    Neel Mukherjee may have narrowly missed out on winning the Booker Prize when his previous novel “The Lives of Others” was shortlisted in 2014, but someone ought to give this writer a crown just for writing such impactful openings in his novels. In both that book and his new novel “A State of Freedom” I was moved, surprised and totally gripped after reading the first twenty or thirty pages. The vignettes which open these novels are separat...
  • Gumble's Yard
    This interview gives an excellent perspective on some of Mukherjee’s inspirations: https://www.thenational.ae/2.1975/acc...The book, both in title, structure and content is inspired by V.S. Naipaul’s In a Free State It is a wonderfully formally audacious book. He has three novellas bookended by a prologue and epilogue, and not a single of those narratives join in any kind of obvious way, and yet it is a novel. I found myself asking, Why is i...
  • Faroukh Naseem
    A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee is out on paperback now by @penguinukbooks (Thanks for the review copy!).It took me a while after finishing the book to get my thoughts in order, like most books that I've loved as an adult, this book wasn't written to please, rather to make you scratch your brain cells through your scalp..#theguywiththebookreview presents A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee..ASOF consists of 5 stories ranging between 20-80 p...
  • Nancy
    As I was reading the last pages of this uncomfortable and upsetting novel, my eyes were streaming. My grief was overwhelming.What story set in India is easy to read? E. M. Forster's Passage to India, depicting British racism and the confused heroine nearly destroying a native Indian man's life because he was more attractive than her fiancé? Or Rumor Godden's novels and stories set in the India of her childhood, and where she returned to live wit...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    Neel Mukherjee’s “A State of Freedom” begins with a father who has come to India with his six-year old son from the States (where he now works). He wants his son to see the Taj Mahal and the nearby monuments at Fatehpur Sikri. The son is intimidated by the landscape – he doesn’t belong to this country and the father feels that even he is a “tourist in his own country”. This sense of alienation and weirdness furthers on into the firs...
  • Alison Mercer
    A State of Freedom is an enlightening, impeccably crafted novel, both tender and terrifying. It further explores the questions raised by Neel Mukherjee’s previous novels, A Life Apart and The Lives of Others: what is it to be a migrant, what it is to be poor, vulnerable and powerless, and what it is to be free – or to try to be. The novel is formed of five interconnected sections with different voices and related characters, whose stories ech...
  • Kate Olson
    Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a finished copy of this title for review purposes - all opinions are my own. STATE OF FREEDOM is said to be a novel, but I would prefer to classify it as a collection of connected short stories or novellas ~ with the connections being sometimes fleeting. I had to reread several portions of the books multiple times to find the shared characters/moments that I missed the first time.I have been trying fo...