Latest Issue

Neel Mukherjee’s new novel is a searing account of state oppression and Communist terror

The 100-page story of Milly and Soni, two tribal villagers, is held together by Mukherjee’s wonderfully inventive prose style

By Tanjil Rashid   August 2017

A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus, £16.99)

You can tell a lot from the titles of Neel Mukherjee’s novels. The “state of freedom” he refers to in the title of his latest work has multiple meanings. It rings ironically of Indira Gandhi’s state of emergency from 1975-77, even as the book’s five narratives are set in contemporary India. The title also refers to a metaphysical state, the freedom unlocked when—like each of Mukherjee’s protagonists—you are dislocated from home. The characters’ lives, from a servant in Mumbai to an…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect