Winner of an English PEN award
Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay is back with a hallucinatory and explosively sensual new novel following the acclaimed Panty and Abandon.
With her days split between a passionate marriage and a high-octane television studio job, Homi is a thoroughly modern young woman – until one day she is approached by a yogi in the street. This mysterious figure begins to follow her everywhere, visible only to Homi, who finds him both frightening and inexplicably arousing.
Convinced that the yogi is a manifestation of fate, Homi embarks on a series of increasingly desperate attempts to prove that her life is ruled by her own free will, much to the alarm of her no-nonsense husband and cattily snobbish mother. Her middle-class Kolkata life, and the relationships that define her identity, are disturbed to the point of disintegration.
Following the inexorable pull of tradition, the mystic forces that run beneath the shallow surface of our modern existence like red earth beneath the pavements, Homi ends up in Benaras, the holy city on the banks of the Ganga, where her final battle with fate plays out.
‘Her previous erotic and enigmatic works were also preoccupied with the city of Kolkata, with the portrait of woman-as-artist – confronting patriarchy and whole-heartedly embracing women’s sexuality. The Yogini follows a familiar vein. It’s a hat-trick for [Bandyopadhyay and Sinha] — and a huge win for readers worldwide.’ Sana Goyal, Huffington Post India
‘In case you thought that Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay needed one more show of excellence to cement herself as one of the great feminist writers of today, The Yogini is it. It’s a novel which makes use of creeping, unsettling, surrealist horror to create an atmosphere which reflects the real lives of women today who are shackled by the things they cannot control.‘ — Will Harris, Books and Bao
‘The Yogini constantly challenges the reader, sometimes in following the twists it takes, but more intensely in the problems it asks you to share with Homi. This effect is enforced by the editorial note on niyoti that opens the novel. Beyond this though, the note consciously stamps the novel with Tilted Axis’s unique identity that defines its novels. The publishing house once again proves itself to be at the frontlines of bringing under-represented works to an English-speaking readership, specifically presenting the more experimental, radical, and cutting edge works. The Yogini exemplifies the success of this pursuit.‘ — Daniel Lubin, Savage Online
‘Bandyopadhyay slowly dismantles the trappings of the conventional novel as Homi experiences what can only be described as a spiritual crisis which will lead us to an ending far from the romcom echoes of the opening. (…) That this remains only one possible interpretation suggests the pleasurable complexity of this wonderful author.‘ — Grant Rintoul, 1streading
‘In The Yogini I also saw influences of authors like Angela Carter in the juxtaposition of the grotesque alongside the ordinary. But, surpassing these comparisons to western counterparts, Bandyopadhyay’s writing shines through in this excellent translation as unique and exciting. Exploring themes of female identity and sexuality in a rapidly modernising and changing India, The Yogini is unlike anything else I’ve read in a long time.‘ — Yasmine Rose Reads
Praise for Panty:
‘An unnerving, ominous and beautiful meditation on the loneliness of modern life.’
— The Guardian
Praise for Abandon:
‘Abandon is a bold, important and formidable novel about the demands of life and the responsibilities we have, both to others and to ourselves.’
— Lucy Scholes, The National
ISBNs: 978-1-911284-27-7 (print) / 978-1-911284-25-3 (ebook)
Publication date: 25 July 2019
Extent: 208 pp
Format: B-format paperback (198mm × 127mm)
Rights held: World excluding India