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Sudhir Kakar | Books

Non Fiction

Young Tagore

Delhi: Viking-Penguin, 2013


Young Tagore is a first-of-its-kind psychobiography that deepens our understanding of Rabrinath Tagore, perhaps the greatest multifaceted genius India has produced in the last two hundred years. In this reconstruction of Tagore's childhood and youth, pre-eminent psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar draws a nuanced portrait of the young prodigy and the decisive experiences that shaped him: the death of his mother when he was fourteen, the intimate bond he shared with his sister-in-law Kadambari and his sojourn in England. Through these Kakar uncovers the vital themes in young Rabi's inner world that shaped his creative genius: his yearning for solitude that was tempered by his fear of loneliness; his preoccupation with with spiritual concerns that enabled him to give voice to the sensualist within; and his abiding quest to find a balance between traditional Indian values and Western cosmopolitanism.


Kakar's scrutiny is intense as he pieces together this incredible puzzle, but the rigorous scholarship is finely balanced with deep empathy. In laying bare the inner workings of Tagore's brilliance, Kakar reveals the real man behind the towering genius.

Tamil translation (Coimbatore, 2016)

German translation, Draupadi Verlag (Heidelberg, 2017)

Bengali translation (Kolkata: Thema, 2022)
ayalam translation (Kottayam: DC Books, 2023)

Young Tagore

From Reviews


"... not only illuminates many nooks and crannies of Tagore's creativity but is in itself an imaginative and luminous meditation on art and life, the body and soul, and the East and the West."  Indian Express


".... a set of meditations by a thoughtful reader on what Tagore means to him ...the psychobiographical site where the deepest sources of imagination, joy and suffering can be located. For any psychoanalyst, this is a gift."  Outlook


"... paints a fascinating portrait of Tagore seen through the prism of psychological analysis of his own "memory pictures"." The Sunday Indian


"... unravels the puzzle that was Tagore....a pleasure to read."  India Today


"..adds a new and crucial dimension to Tagore studies, especially to understanding his life .... a book without which no Tagore scholar will be able to form an opinion of the poet."

The Statesman

A Book of Memory: Confessions and Reflections

Penguin Viking (February, 2011)

An elegant meditation on memory and desire. His memoirs offer a fascinating account of his lifelong search for the wellsprings of Indian identity. Written with rare candour, A Book of Memory grapples with not only crises of identity and intellect, but also the ecstasies and vicissitudes of erotic pleasure and love, painting a sensuously detailed portrait of a life well lived.


German translation, Die Seele der Anderen (Munich: BecK, 2012)

Malayalam translation, Ormmakalute Pushthakam (Kottayam: DC Books, 2014)

Hindi translation (Delhi: Rajkamal, in Press)

A Book of Memory

From Reviews


"His superb memoir outlines the making of a modern Indian - how a ruminative and restless mind realized itself in the folds of a vocation of understanding. A Book of Memory somehow makes a gentle read out of Kakar's bruising candour, buoyed by his fluently meditative and occasionally lyrical prose."  Tehelka


"The prime movers of A Book of Memory are identity, relationships and as a function of these, eroticism, and Kakar frequently uses his psychiatric insights to address the crises of the first, the dimensions of the second and the imperatives of the a series of observations that effectively benchmark our condition.... Kakar has this amazing ability to remember the smallest detail of everything he considers pertinent to his narrative." The Telegraph


"One of the delights of Kakar's memoir is his observation of his own feelings... no one has done this better with such finesse as he..... that rare autobiography without a touch of conceit."  Outlook


"..a big throbbing book about a long eventful life. Essential reading...."  India Today


"...intimate and very personal portrait of the author's own life, seen through the prism of memory, and filled with a wealth of detail and anecdote."  Indian Express

"...a memoir whose recollections, dreams, wishes, ideas and thoughts mingle with the recapitulation of a life lived well... an elegant autobiography by a shrink who narrates how memory and mind shape much of our living consciousness." Business Standard "What helps the narrative to become riveting is that the story recounted is not a linear account but one that meanders just as consciousness does unputdownable book." The Tribune


"Holds up a lens of understanding onto the impact of culture on Indian psyche." Mail Today "...honest, almost brutally so... and absorbing."  The Week


"...peppered with the colour and enchantment of the experience of a South Asian upbringing."  Himal

Mad and Divine: Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World

Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 2008


U.S. Edition (Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2009)

French translation, Fou et Divin (Paris: Seuil, 2010)

German translation, Freud Lesen in Goa: Spiritualitaet in einer aufgeklaerten Welt (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2008)

Mad and Divine_ Spirit and Psyche in the

From Reviews


"This book is a page-turner, replete with references from sociology, neurobiology, philosophy, and Eastern and Western poetry."  International Journal of Psychoanalysis


"....should satiate the intellectual and spiritual hunger of inquisitive souls." Business Standard, India


"...aptly titled and absorbing study." Dawn, Karachi


"To read Sudhir Kakar's books is always a great joy. His combination of knowledge, humour and wisdom is as seldom as his literary and psychoanalytic approach to the world.... highly stimulating."  Die Tageszeitung, Germany


"I do not know of any author who is so convincing in combining the Enlightenment thought of modernity within Asian spiritual heritage without betraying the one to the other."  Spuren, Switzerland

The Indians

The Indians: Portrait of a People

with Katharina Kakar (Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 2007)

German translation, Die Inder: Portraet einer Gesellschaft (Munich: Beck verlag, 2006)

French translation, Les Indiens (Paris: du Seuil, 2007)

Italian translation, Gli Indiani (Milan: Neri Pozza, 2007)

Hindi translation, Hum Hindustani (Delhi: Penguin 2009)

Malayalam translation, India Janatha - Oru Chayachitram (Kottayam: D.C. Books, 2012)

Spanish translation, La India (Barcelona: Kairos, 2012)

Bengali translation (Kolkata: Bookpost, 2022)


From Reviews


"…a compelling work on the cultural character of the Indian people…both provocative and revealing."  Shyam Benegal, Outlook


"…an important book… a readable and carefully considered statement on the issue of identity."  Pavan Varma, India Today


"…remarkably perceptive analysis of Indian character." Khushwant Singh, Hindustan Times "This is a book which should be read by all Indian executives." Mark Tully, Financial Express


"This stimulating book is a magnificent attempt to understand Indian life in all its fullness…deepens our understanding of not just our lives but our minds as well." The Statesman


"Mr. and Mrs. Kakar display an encyclopedic and deep understanding of the Indian social reality, their "way of looking at things" is surpassed by none….This book is important for those who are just waking up to the India's economic juggernaut."  Far Eastern Economic Review


"This incisive book…succeeds in great measure in understanding and explaining the Indian character." Deccan Herald "Both intellectually rigorous and sensitive, Sudhir Kakar is a reliable guide to how Indians today experience their identity, their sexuality, their conflict between tradition and modernity."  Le Monde, France


"The fascinating portrait of society and culture of a country that will play an ever more important role in world politics in the future." Die Zeit, Germany


"The book is a treasure trove full of Aha-effects—not only for India lovers but for all those who in times of globalization seek to look beyond the rim of their own culture." Der Spiegel, Germany


"A very readable and richly nuanced book which seeks to uncover the common identity of ‘The Indians’ in their historical continuity, homogeneity and civilizational uniqueness." Neue Zuricher Zeitung, Switzerland

Culture & Psyche

Selected Essays, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996)


2nd Edition, 2008

U.S. Edition (New York: Psyche Press, 1997)

German edition (Glessen: Psychosozial Verlag, 2012)

Italian edition (Rome: Alpes Italia, 2017)

Farsi translation (Tehran, in Press)


The Essential Writings of Sudhir Kakar

(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001)

2nd edition, 2011 

Paperback, 2020


The Inner World

A Psychoanalytic Study of Childhood and Society in India 

(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1978)


2nd Edition: 1981, 3rd Edition, 2008, Paperback: 1982, 16th Impression, 2004

French translation, Moksha: Le Monde Interieur (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1985)

German Translation, Kindheit und Gesellschaft in Indien (Frankfurt: Nexus Verlag, 2nd ed.Berlin: Stroemfeld, 2007)

Spanish Translation, El Mundo Interior (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura, 1987)

Italian translation, Infanzia e mondo interno dell’India (Milan: Vivarium, 2007)

Turkish translation Ic Dunya (Istanbul: Fauna, 2019)

The Inner World

From Reviews


​"The Inner World takes giant strides in its efforts to formulate a different psychology of the Hindu, a psychology that fully takes into account the social and cultural milieu. The book undoubtedly will set the framework for future psychoanalytic work in India." Psychoanalytic Review


"As scholarly as it is an exciting journey into Indian childhood." Neue Zuricher Zeitung


"This book is recommended to everyone who is interested in India and its people, and everyone who wants to discover the self and the other in transcultural comparisons." Psyche


"….. an excellent example of applied psychoanalysis." Library Journal


"Only a non-Westerner like him could give us such a thoughtful book….. invaluable." Journal of Psychohistory


"….…the best application of psychoanalysis to Indian culture… A thoughtful and well-written exposition of the field, it achieves an elegant balance between conciseness and comprehensiveness….. stands as an authoritative statement." Journal of Psychological Anthropology


"The most important and the most daring of his works to date… Kakar has provided us with a paradigmatic achievement." Economic and Political Weekly


"Every student of psychology and anthropology in this country should read the book… an important contribution to the literature on Indian society." Social Action

Intimate Relations

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990

Indian Edition (Delhi: Viking, 1989)

Paperback (Penguin Books, 1991)

French Translation, Eros et Imagination en Inde (Paris: Des Femmes, 1990)

Marathi translation Hinduchaya Kamajivanatil Vairbhav (Pune: Raghuvanshi, 1992)

German translation, Intime Beziehungen (Munich: Verlag Waldsgut, 1994)

Italian Translation, Sesso e Amore in India (Parma: Pratiche Editrice, 1995)

Hindi translation (Delhi: Vani Prakashan, 2006)

Intimate Relations

From Reviews


"Candid look at how Indians think about a subject rarely discussed in public: sex and intimacy between men and women." Time


"Kakar is scrupulous in insisting that he is not writing about India so much as he is in delineating an “India” created by the texts he is so skilfully taking apart for us. It is this hidden India which is the subject of his fascinating book. One from which the real India – and all of us as well – can only benefit." The Japan Times


"An interesting and scholarly psychological study of the relationship between the sexes in India…… The author states his thesis with clarity….. rewarding." Psychoanalytic Quarterly


"Narrative is Kakar’s “interpretive a priori”. Culture, social form, and mind are all finally grounded in story and take their distinctive shapes from it. Kakar is deeply committed to the narrative movement in cultural studies, finding in psychoanalysis simply one – although the best one for him – among many kinds of possible narrative competence." History of Religions


"Explores with as much scholarship and glorious insight as one has come to expect from Sudhir Kakar. He has the rare ability to combine the technicalities of his work with sheer readability." India Today


"Brilliant expose…… Kakar’s thesis is sound scholarship of the highest order." Sunday

Shamans, Mystics & Doctors

A Psychological inquiry into India and its Healing Traditions. (New York: A. Knopf, 1982)

Indian Edition (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982)

Paperback (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983 & Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991)

British Edition (London: Allen & Unwin, 1984)

Spanish Translation, Chamanes, Misticos y Doctores (Mexico:Fondo de Cultura, 1990)

Marathi translation, Aushadh, Utare, ani Aashirwad (Bombay: Majestic, 1993)

Italian translation, Sciamani, Mistici E Dottori (Parma: Pratiche Editrice, 1993). 2nd edition, 1995

French translation, Chamans, Mystiques et Medecins (Paris: du Seuil, 1997)

Hindi translation, Sadhu, Ojha, Sant (Delhi: Rajkamal Prakashan, 2005)

German Translation, Schamanen, Heilige und Aerzte (Munich: Biederstein Verlag, 1984; Beck Verlag 2006)


Turkish translation (Istanbul: Paradigma Yayiniari, in Press)​

Shamans, Mystics & Doctors

From Reviews


"With extraordinary sympathy, open-mindedness, and insight Sudhir Kakar has drawn from both his Eastern and Western backgrounds to show how the gulf that divides native healer from Western psychiatrist can be spanned." New York Review of Books


"Kakar insightfully draws cross-cultural analogies and points out, where appropriate, how western and Indian practice vary and the areas of common ground in perception and practice. Highly recommended for psychology, anthropology, and religion collections." Library Journal


"Kakar describes all these encounters with verve and a novelist’s eye for detail…. he’s a uniquely privileged observer, with a fine English style and a droll, ingratiating presence. An extraordinary cross-cultural “field report.” Kirkus Reviews


"Fascinating are the rich observations and insights that Sudhir Kakar gives the reader, and his capacity to understand the techniques and ideas of each healing tradition from its cultural background." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


"Offering ethnographic portraits of fifteen different healing systems, ranging from those of Dravidian shamans to Ayurvedic doctors, Kakar combines vivid novelistic descriptions of particular curers and their clients with insightful “inside” accounts of the conceptual system underlying each tradition." Medical Anthropology Quarterly ​


"Ce double regard donne son extreme saveur a ce livre passionnant. Son experience du terrain, sa prise de conscience de la relativite medicale font de lui un heraut du dialogue des cultures." Le Nouvel Observateur

Tales Of Love, Sex & Danger

(with J.Ross), (Delhi: Oxford University Press,1986), 2nd edition, 2011.

German translation, Ueber die Liebe (Munich:Beck Verlag, 1986)

British Edition (London: Unwin Hyman, 1987)

French translation, Les Pieges de l’amour erotique (Paris: PUF, 1987)

U.S.Edition (New York: Blackwell, 1988)

Italian Translation, Amore, Passione, Dolore (Como: Lyra Libri, 1991)

Tales Of Love, Sex & Danger

From Reviews


"…informative, thought-provoking and unputdownable."  Khushwant Singh, India Today


"…succeeds in lighting up its subject with intelligence and tact."

 John Gross, New York Times


"…engrossing and thought-provoking…each chapter is worthy of much discussion and deliberation..hard to put down." David Davidar, Sunday


"…one of the fringe benefits of reading this passionately written book has been getting to know the great love legends in unusual detail…exceptionally thought provoking." Indian Express


"…always illuminating. The juxtaposition of the stories with the analyses, the clarity of expression and the diverse range in the choice of legends make this a highly readable text."

Rita Joshi,  Hindustan Times

The Colours Of Violence

Indian Edition (Delhi: Viking, 1995)

Cultural Identities, Religion and Conflict, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996)

German translation, Die Gewalt der Frommen (Munich: Beck Verlag, 1997)

Malayalam translation (Kottayam :DC Books, 2022)
Hindi translation (Delhi: Rajkamal, in Press)

The Colour of Violence

From Reviews


"Presents more lucidly than anything I have read so far the fears and prejudices which bedevil relations between Hindus and Muslims." Dileep Padgaonkar, Biblio


"A magnificent book which certainly deepens our understanding." Outlook


"A serious, scholarly work that deserves to be on the bookshelf of anyone who is interested in studying the growth of communalism in India." Sunday


"This is an immensely insightful book, clearly and powerfully written, which takes us to the heart of one of the most important and enigmatic phenomena of our day." Charles Taylor in IWM


"What Sudhir Kakar offers in this impressive, sensitive work……. can serve as a model for future studies – such as the violence in Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia, China and Tibet, in the states of the former Soviet Union or even between North and South Ireland." Sud-Deutsche Zeitung, Germany


"This is a captivating book which is as exciting to read as a novel… (Kakar) is a modern Indian intellectual who tells fascinating stories from a fascinating country……. a book that can be read easily by individuals from a broad range of disciplines." Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany


"Will fascinate anyone interested in religious and cultural conflict." Journal of Indo-European Studies


"Has written a readable, important book on an important subject which invites the reader to concern himself with the social and psychological problems of contemporary world." Psyche


"A book that can be read easily by individuals from a broad range of disciplines." International Journal of Psychoanalysis

The Mind in the World: Collected Papers of Sudhir Kakar

4 Volumes (Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, Religion, Biography)

In Press: Oxford University Press

La Folle et la Saint (with C.Clement)

(Paris: du Seuil, 1993)

German translation Der Heilige und die Verrueckte (Munich: Beck Verlag, 1993)

Portugese translation A Louca e o Santo (Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumara, 1997)

Italian translation, La Folle e il Santo (Rome: Corbaccio, 1998)

The Indian Psyche

(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996), (Delhi: Viking, 1996)

The Analyst and the Mystic

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992
Indian Edition (Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 1991)

Conflict and Choice

Indian Youth in a Changing Society

(with Kamla Cowdhry), (Bombay: Somaiya, 1971)

Fredrick Taylor

A Study in Personality and Innovation, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1970)

Kindle Edition, (Livionics Publishing, 2019)

Understanding Organizational Behaviour

Editor (with Kamla Chowdhry), Delhi: Tata-McGraw Hill, 1970


Identity and Adulthood

(Delhi: OUP, 1980)

3rd impression, 1998

Dreams and Dreaming

(Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 2011)

Seriously Strange: Thinking psychic phenomena anew

(Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 2013)

Death and Dying

(Delhi: Penguin-Viking, 2012)

On Creativity

(Delhi: Penguin, 2014)

Imaginations of Death and Afterlife in India and Europe

(Singapore: Springer, 2018)


The Kipling File

Penguin, August 2018

Delhi: Hamish Hamilton, 2018

Shortlisted for Valley of Words Award for Fiction, 2019

The Kipling File

From Reviews


"..Kakar’s simultaneously skeptical and sympathetic effort to understand the love- hate relationship that defined the colonial experience.. adds a new persective to indispensable contemporary works like George Orwell’s Burmese Days, E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India and Kipling’s own, now underrated Kim… The Kipling File’s admirable ambiguity is the perfect complement to Kakar’s eloquent prose." India Today


"…a well-researched, elegantly written and highly readable interpretation of Kipling’s life in India. The Kipling File’s greatest strength isn’t so much its tactile prose, but the subtlety and sophistication that Kakar employs in re-evaluating his subject." South China Morning Post


"Kakar writes out of extensive research amounting to deep immersion into the life and writings of Kipling... So osmotic is Kakar’s writing that in several places, even someone fairly familiar with Kipling’s work will find it difficult to distinguish what Kipling wrote from what Kakar seamlessly grafts on to it."  The Book Review


"…elegant and highly readable fictional account of the young writer’s life in colonial India…In Kakar’s narrative Kipling emerges as a man of compelling contradictions—a mercurial genius with immense talent who was at the same time engaged in fighting his inner demons…  deftly captures the panorama of life in 19thcentury India."  Seminar


The Devil Take Love

(Penguin: 2015)

The Devil Take Love

From Reviews


"Kakar’s impeccable research is faultless… superbly crafted novel." Indian Express "The ease with which the narrative flows is a testimony to his feat of imagination…peppered with insights into poetics." Business Line


"Kakar has imaginatively recreated the life of Bhartrihari, the greatest Sanskrit poet of love, renowned for vacillating between an exuberant life of pleasure and one of world-weary austerity." Outlook


"The Devil Take Love is an ambitious fictional experiment…that Kakar is mostly successful is a testimony to his skill and passion… Kakar already has a vastly impressive oeuvre…his latest novel is a worthy addition to that list." Mint Lounge


"[The] vivid description of market places, caravans, ddresses. Trade, rituals, customs and the languages intersoersed in the story [make] the reading engaging—a trait not many novels can boast [of]" The Hindu


"Sudhir Kakar has written a wonderfully imagined novel." Sunday Guardian


"One foot as a historian, and the other in the imaginative eroticism of the age…a comment on our contemporary struggle between traditionalists and devotees of pleasure." India Today

The Crimson Throne

Shortlisted for the 2010 Vodaphone Crossword award for fiction (Delhi: Viking-Penguin, 2010)

Italian translation (Milan: Neri Pozza, 2011)


From Reviews

"High up on my must read list of handful of Indian authors is Sudhir Kakar…The Crimson Throne is Sudhir Kakar at his best." Khushwant Singh in Outlook

‘Kakar’s own depth of understanding of the human mind and of every varied character in The Crimson Throne, together with his skill as a storyteller, makes this such a convincing and outstanding
novel."  India Today

"A well-crafted historical novel on the power struggle among Shah Jahan’s sons…Those looking for a great story will find it in The Crimson Throne..Riveting’ The Times of India

"The author has…conjured up an enthralling panorama of an empire in crisis. It presents a vivid picture of the life and culture of the Mughal elite at a time when the empire was past its Akbarean glory."

The Week

"Lusciously imagined fiction, by far Kakar’s finest." Open

"A keenly intelligent, detailed and eminently readable account of Shah Jahan’s last years"
The Asian Age

"Truly superb" Business Line

The Ascetic of Desire

A Novel (Delhi: Viking, 1998)

Hindi translation Kamayogi (Delhi: Rajkamal, 1999)

German Translation Kamasutra oder die Kunst des Begehrens (Munich: Beck Verlag, 1999)

U.S. edition (New York: Overlook Press, 2000)

Brazilian edition O Asceta do Desejo (Rio de Janeiro: Companhia das Letras, 2000)

Italian translation l’Ascesi del desiderio (Milan: Neri Pozza, 2000)

French translation L’ascete du Desir (Paris: du Seuil, 2001)

Hungarian translation (Budapest: Ulpius-haz, 2001)

Portugese edition O Asceta do Desejo (Lisabon: Edition Temas y Debates, year 2002)

Rumanian translation, Ascetul Dorunta (Bucharest: Editura Trei, 2007 )

Kamyogi (Thrissur: Greenbooks, 2014)

Spanish translation (Barcelona: Plaza y Janes, in Press)

Gujarati translation (Ahmedabad: Image Publishing, in Press)

The Secret of Desire

From Reviews


"The world of Vatsyayana reverberates so vividly with excitement that we feel we can hear the jingle of ankle bells and inhale the perfumes of the women who dance past us on the page. Always an elegant stylist, Sudhir Kakar has written a sensual work that is alive with historical detail and provocative ideas about the world’s most fascinating subject." New York Times Book Review


"Lushly sensual and thoughtful debut novel….Throughout the book, Kakar offers a tantalizing view of how sex is constructed, dreamed, subdued and performed in culturally specific contexts and through history, rich folklore and marvelous parables. It’s an impassioned and unusual tale dense with scintillating details and sexual philosophy." Publishers Weekly


"In part a homage to the Kamasutra, in part beautiful storytelling, The Ascetic of Desire is a highly enjoyable and thoughtful read." Asian Week "Fascinating reading… Sudhir Kakar has reconstructed his (Vatsyayana’s) life and times with the consummate skill of a master-craftsman using psychoanalytic techniques, imagination and felicitous prose." Khushwant Singh in The Tribune


"A journey into the furthest past, an ecstatic dream beyond all times." Vogue, Germany

Mira And The Mahatma 

(Delhi: Viking-Penguin, 2004)


Hindi translation Mira aur Mahatma (Delhi: Rajkamal, 2005)

Italian translation Mira e il Mahatma (Milan: Neri Pozza, 2005)

Indonesian translation Gandhi Cintaku (Bandung: Mizan Pustaka, 2005)

Portugese translation, Mira e o Mahatma (Rio de Janeiro: Relume, 2005)

German translation Die Frau, die Gandhi liebte (Munich: Beck Verlag, 2005)

Korean translation (Seoul: Moonhak Soochup, 2006)

French translation Mira et le Mahatma (Paris: du Seuil, 2006)

Spanish translation, Mira y el Mahatma (Barcelona: Circe, 2006)

Marathi translation Meera ani Mahatma (Pune: Rajhans Prakashan,2007)

Malyalam translation Meerayum Mahatmvum (Kottayam: DC Books, 2008)

Turkish translation Gandi ve Mira (Istanbul: Kaknus, 2010)


From Reviews


"Perhaps the most passionate of platonic love relationships of all times." Neue Zuricher Zeitung, Zurich


"This heroic master became at the same time a political myth, a spiritual icon and a real man, an astonishing mix of fragility and determination, greatness and oddness…It is this intimate Gandhi…which sets the scene for this magnificent work by Sudhir Kakar, one of the principle figures in contemporary Indian thought and… a novelist of repute." Le Monde, Paris


"…a love story, made all the more poignant by the agony it caused both…Kakar’s Gandhi is supremely relevant for today." Mark Tully in Outlook


"Mira and the Mahatma is his best book. It makes one fall in love with Bapu." Khushwant Singh in The Tribune


"Skilful manipulation of time enables Sudhir Kakar to reclaim a space between history and imagination…beautifully written novel." The Telegraph


"…a brilliantly woven narrative, with facts as the warp and imagination as the weft… Kakar’s is a marvellous effort to peel away the layers surrounding Gandhi." The Hindu


"…not only brilliantly researched but also grippingly narrated. With his third novel, he has established a unique niche for himself in the world of Indian English fiction." India Today "…a sublime, sensual portrait of the Mahatma" Hindustan Times


"…Kakar weaves a vivid portrait of those extraordinary years in India’s history…a must for all those fascinated by the freedom movement and its moral underpinnings." Business Standard


A Novel (Delhi: Viking-Penguin, 2001)


German translation Der Mystiker oder die Kunst der Ekstase (Munich: Beck Verlag, 2001)

U.S. edition, (New York: Overlook Press, 2002)

Hindi translation Anandvarsha, (Delhi: Rajkamal, 2002)

Serbian translation Ekstaza (Belgrade: Stylos,2003)

Italian translation Estasi (Milan: Neri Pozza, 2004)

French translation Au Nom de l’Extase (Paris: du Seuil,2005)

Russian translation (Moscow: Sophia, in Press)


From Reviews


"This novel dramatizes, as only good fiction can, that even in reading about transgendered breasts and transcendent visions we are, finally, reading about aspects of ourselves." Washington Post Book World


"As in The Ascetic of Desire, Kakar’s fascinating novel that doubled as an essay on sex, the author’s greatest strength lies in his ability to portray the emotional conflicts resulting from physical experiences…lusciously imagined….top-of-the-line fiction…" Publisher’s Weekly


"With sensitivity and intelligence, Kakar’s “Ecstasy” offers a poetic view of the place where flesh and spirit meet." The Seattle Times "Arouses every reaction of the human fibre, from the microcosm of physical tingle to the hypnosis of a spiritual trance…A prose that cultivates visual graphics rather than auditory imagination…an electric sensuality prevails over all else." Asian Age


"What holds the narrative together is Kakar’s sympathetic descriptions of religious life—the set piece in a temple that specializes in exorcism is a classic—and his ironic descriptions of middle-class family life…His prose is clear and evocative…Kakar’s descriptions are as good as any in Indian English fiction." The Hindu


"Ecstasy works at many levels…a story that has many secrets and many interpretations, which are exciting, revealing and finally totally human, filled with the message of human longing for the divine, for the divine in the human." Gentleman


"Kakar excels in turning his cultural and spiritual heritage into a narrative of identity…a humanising tribute to religion—without being religious." India Today


"A mesmeric and readable book about a mysticism which tantalises as it recedes in a haze and dust of contemporary revivalism." Deccan Chronicle


"Eminently readable…deserves the attention of all serious-minded people." Khushwant Singh, in The Telegraph

Indian Love Stories

Editor, (Delhi: Roli Books, 1999)


German translation Liebe aus Indien (Munich: Beck Verlag, 2006)

Italian translation (Milan: Neri Pozza, in Press 2007)

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