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The Alchemy Of Desire
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The Alchemy Of Desire

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The Alchemy Of Desire

Tarun J. Tejpal

Published by Harpercollins | Language - English | Binding - Paper Back

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Written from within the skin of India, The Alchemy of Desire is a novel quite unlike any other, with a power and weight of feeling one almost never encounters in contemporary literature. It celebrates the manic spirit of a country in a time of great change; and also offers, in searing, lucid prose, a deeply sensual and moving meditation on the nature of desire, history, truth, and art.

Set against the brilliantly drawn backdrop of India at the turn of the millennium, The Alchemy of Desire tells the story of a young couple, penniless but gloriously in love. Obsessed with each other, they move from a small town to the big city, where the narrator who dreams of being a writer, works feverishly on a novel, stopping only to feed his ceaseless desire for his beautiful wife.

But sensing that his writing is specious, the narrator is deeply restless. Seeking refuge, his wife and he buy an abandoned cottage in a mist-shrouded spur of the lower Himalayas. The house is to be a symbol of their love, but soon things begin to fall apart. During renovations a chance discovery triggers a strange energy, and the man finds himself irresistibly drawn away from his wife and thrust into another world and time. Into the hole of history. Slowly he begins to uncover dark secrets, until startling truths are laid bare and all certainties are overturned; and then he is alone, surrounded by the debris of his life and great love, confronting his unwritten magnum opus and the darkness that is threatening to swamp him.

Inventive, playful, heartbreaking, The Alchemy of Desire is at once intimate and oracular, brimming with ideas and unforgettable characters. It captures the polyphonic voices of India with an empathy and authenticity rarely achieved before. This is a major novel by one of the most significant new voices of his generation.


The heart of The Alchemy of Desire is the story of the ebbing and resuscitation of desire , but once you move past page 300 or so, you're all too aware that the novel is on a pacemaker. There is an ending, clinically if not emotional satisfying; there are splendid phrases, wonderful climaxes, including a ghostly encounter of the very close kind. That brings us the fourth story, the one that Tejpal could have written and didn't write. He's proved in The Alchemy of Desire that he has a writer's mind, senses, skills, imagination. New Indian Express

Tejpal has turned out a masterpiece. It is a novel that must be read. Khushwant Singh

Tejpal's novel is easily the most beautifully sensuous work by an Indian that I've ever read. His narrative of body's desire shines with a heart warming vibrancy. Tehelka

It's a life affirming read. Buy it now. Elle (magazine)

The Alchemy of Desire succeeds in telling us a good story. It transports us into realm that are phantasmagorical yet credible. It introduces us to characters that we both love and despise. It describes events and situations that we can identify with and cherish. Sahara Time

Tejpal is a fantastic user of the English language and his subtle movements and turns of phrases deliver the reader into unforgettable encounters with lovemaking. The Statesman


Book: The Alchemy Of Desire
ISBN-13: 0008172234651
Product Code 0008172234651
Binding: Paper Back
Publisher: Harpercollins
Number of Pages: 522
Language: English

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