Neel Mukherjee (writer)

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Neel Mukherjee
West Bengal, India
Alma materJadavpur University
University College, Oxford
Pembroke College, Cambridge
University of East Anglia
Notable worksA Life Apart, The Lives of Others,
Notable awardsCrossword Book Award (2008)
Encore Award (2015)

Neel Mukherjee (born 1970) is an India-born writer who lives in London and writes in English. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels.He is also brother of famous television anchor/editor Udayan Mukherjee

His first novel, Past Continuous, won the Vodafone-Crossword Book Award in 2008 and several more awards when republished in the U.K. in 2010. His second novel, The Lives of Others was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award.


Mukherjee was educated at Don Bosco School, Park Circus, Kolkata. He studied English at Jadavpur University and then attended University College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he studied English and graduated in 1992. He completed his Ph.D. at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated with an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in 2001.

He reviews fiction for a variety of publication in the U.K. and U.S., including The Times and Time Asia.[1]

Describing the unexpected ease with which he wrote The Lives of Others, he described the process:[2]

Writers rarely have access to that part of their heads where books originate. One can talk cogently of influences, plotting, putting a book together, structuring, editing, everything, really, but origins are a far cloudier issue, the domain of the unconscious, mostly, so not readily available for truthful discussion.... I don't know whether my book started life as the story of a joint family in Calcutta at a critical juncture in history or as a reckoning with an ultra-left movement for social justice and equality around which the domestic story was built.... [T]hat way of talking about a book as which narrative came first is always already too late because the origins lie far earlier.... [I]t was as if the book had already been there, waiting patiently to be let in; I only had to open the door.


Past Continuous or A Life Apart[edit]

Published in India in January 2008 as Past Continuous. Republished in the U.K. in January 2010 as A Life Apart

"the saga of a lonely young gay man who flees a miserable life in Kolkata to the freedom of Britain"[1]

The Lives of Others[edit]

Published in May 2014

Set in Calcutta in 1967. Idealistically motivated Supratik has become associated with extremist political activism. He disappers leaving only a note. The life and fortunes of the family he has left behind take a disastrous turn, mirrored in the society around them.

A State of Freedom[edit]

Published in July 2017


  1. ^ a b "I wanted a gay protagonist in my novel: Neel Mukherjee". News 18. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b "RSL Encore Award". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Man Booker Prize: Howard Jacobson makes shortlist". BBC News. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  4. ^ "DSC Prize 2016 Announces a Shortlist of 6 Novels". 26 November 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harikrishnan, Charmy (6 October 2014). "The life of Neel". Profile. India Today. 39 (40): 70–71.

External links[edit]