Neti, Neti: Not This, Not This

Twenty-five-year-old Sophie Das has moved from Shillong to Bangalore in search of work, fun and liberty. Neti, Neti follows Sophie and her free-spirited friends through offices, pubs, call centres, night streets, shopping malls, rock concerts, and the homes of Bangalore’s newly rich, as Sophie starts to feel more and more alienated in the money-mad city. A horrific murder sends her back to her hometown, where her Hamlet-quoting father and increasingly religious mother are chasing their separate dreams. Will Sophie be able to pull back from the brink and find herself a home?

Neti, Neti is one of the first Indian novels to bring to vivid life the situation of a young woman in the big city, and to do so in a way that balances cynicism with wit, warmth with uncertainty, existential doubts with the pulls of the everyday world.

"Anjum Hasan is one of the most suggestive and subtle Indian writers of her generation, unusually aware of the weight, meaning, and resonances of words. Whether as a novelist, poet, or essayist, she displays an unexpected combination of shrewd noticing and poetic insight about how small-town imaginings and cosmopolitan sophistication flow in and out of each other."
Amit Chaudhuri

India Ink/Roli | 2009, 2013 | 287 pages
Big Girl Now | Brass Monkey Books Australia | 2010
Bort, Bort | Ordfront Sweden | 2010

Short-listed for the Hindu Best Fiction Award 2010Long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008Long-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2011
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From the reviews

“One has heard of the Delhi novel and the Bombay novel, and finally, here's a Bangalore novel.”

Neti, Neti can legitimately claim to be the definitive “new Bangalore” novel... an unflinching investigation of the immigrant narrative.”

Neti, Neti paints an empathetic portrait of the unusually liberated—and unexpectedly lost—middle-class youth of the brave new India... the novel wins over the reader with its sincerity.”

“Hasan is masterful with the nuances of longing and the subtlest of tragedies.... [She is] an artist with her words. There is writerly accomplishment in every turn of phrase.”
Deccan Herald

“Hasan’s writing is full of warm humour... Blurbs will struggle to capture her subversivesness.”

“Hasan is an assured writer, excellent at teasing out the comedy and despair in the lives of imperfect, confused characters and their muddled rebellions...This is a novel that will speak to a generation.”
Indian Express

“Hasan’s two books are good examples of how the personal can successfully be used to illustrate the bigger picture; how individual lives can help map the life of this vast country and the many subcultures that coexist within it.”

“Hasan delivers the bitter truth that for all their suavity, our young Englishspewing motormouths are merely automatons sold on the candyfloss life, the bastard children of globalisation.”
Mail Today

“Hasan is a witty writer and the style is highly engaging, richly descriptive and emotionally astute.”
The Sydney Morning Herald

“A finely crafted story where wry insights and pure moments of humour contrast with some nasty jolts of great realism.”
Canberra Times

“A contemplative tale... I hope that lots of readers will take the time to get to know Sophie Das.”
Svenska Dagbladet

“An exciting book which bubbles with energy and feels endlessly tragic.”
Sodermanlands Nyheter

“Well-written, snappy and entertaining.”