reviews, news, &c

[A selection of reviews, interviews, mentions, & such for The Private Life of Mrs Sharma]

An interview on NPR with Ailsa Chang.

A review in the The New York Times by Jennifer Senior: “The story it tells is taut, focused; its wider setting, the new India, pops with life. But the real star of this show is Renu, the Mrs. Sharma of the book’s title.”

A review in Booklist: “A beautiful, tragic, and highly recommended work … ”

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma earns a starred review from Kirkus Reviews: “Even as cultural products can feel increasingly generic in our technologically advanced global marketplace, Kapur … proves that a gifted writer can still powerfully capture a complex voice from a singular place and time.”

A review in the Wall Street Journal by Sam Sacks: “In Mrs. Sharma, Ms. Kapur has fashioned a memorably double-sided character for a novel that, like a gathering storm, changes before your eyes from soft light to enveloping darkness.”

An interview on The Rumpus with Catherine Cusick.

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is one of The Millions’ “most anticipated” books of 2016.

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma was shortlisted for the 2016 Tata Literature Live Book of the Year (Fiction) Prize and the 2016 Atta Galatta – Bangalore Literature Book Prize for Fiction.

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma features on several lists of recommended reads, including The New York Times,  Elle, Marie Claire (US print edition only, December 2016 issue), Vulture, Bustle and Nylon.

A review in The National by Lucy Scholes: “[Mrs Sharma] is as much the universal everywoman as she is the product of a specific geographical place and historical period, and this is a novel that should speak to women everywhere.”

A review in The Irish Times by Sarah Gilmartin: “Tender and funny, this short second novel grabs the reader from the outset and builds with an air of menace to an unavoidable close.”

A review in the Indian Express by Amrita Dutta: “This is a quiet novel but a powerful one. It harnesses the disruptive energies of contemporary urban Indian life, from the challenge of feminism to the promise of capitalism.”

Mohammed Hanif (A Case of Exploding Mangoes) on The Private Life of Mrs Sharma: “Frighteningly good … Really gets under your skin, a devastating little book.”

A review in The Herald Scotland by Rosemary Goring: “Both as a portrait of an individual and a commentary on modern India, it’s an accomplished piece, by turns sad, darkly comic and not a little chilling.”

A review in Mint by Jai Arjun Singh: “[F]or all its apparent simplicity this may be one of the most carefully constructed novels I have read in a while. It reminded me of Kazuo Ishiguro’s work … Kapur’s book has a similar tremulousness, the sense of a life being lived on the brink, even though the tone remains outwardly composed.”

A review in the Independent by Emma Hagestadt: “Renuka, the wonderfully chatty heroine of Kapur’s second novel, struggles with the contradictions of contemporary Indian life … Despite the novel’s breezy tone, there are plenty of moving moments as Renuka struggles with the conflicting demands of motherhood and selfhood.”

A review in India Today by Kaveree Bamzai: “Middle-aged, middle-class, middling women … have been a staple of English novels in India from Anita Desai to Shashi Deshpande. But Ratika Kapur’s The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is the least apologetic of these imaginary heroines.”

Meera Syal talks about The Private Life of Mrs Sharma in Good Housekeeping (UK print edition only, 1 April 2016): “I’m enjoying it so much. Ratika Kapur really broke some taboos with this novel set in Delhi, about a married woman who starts an affair. Her writing is understated, poignant and she has a lovely comic touch.”

A set of reviews in Grazia (UK print edition only, 4 January 2016): “[A] startling insight … a gripping story …”

A short review in the Independent (print edition only, 7 January 2016): “Kapur hits the nail on the head in her portrayal of the conflicting demands of motherhood and selfhood.”

Joanna Rakoff (My Salinger Year) on The Private Life of Mrs Sharma: “Brilliantly captures the puzzle that is India today.”

A review in Dawn by Shazaf Fatima: “This novel has integrity … It is a worthy read and, to my mind, one of the most complex and accomplished works of fiction to come out of the Indian subcontinent this year.”

A review in the Asian Age by Kushalrani Gulab: “The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is a stunning book. Rarely do you get so into the mind of a character.”

A review in The Hindu Literary Review by Radhika Santhanam: “Kapur’s book stands out for its unique way of storytelling.”

A review in the Financial Express by Namrata Rao: “The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is a brilliant take on the inequalities in India.”

Amitava Kumar considers the “voice” in The Private Life of Mrs Sharma in his Hindustan Times column: “This is the voice of the ordinary, the quotidian, even the banal – and it is to Kapur’s credit that often she makes this voice sing … And because Mrs Sharma sounds real, she is revolutionary.”

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is one of the “3 best Indian fiction books of 2015”, according to the Hindustan Times. Also, a review here by Manjula Narayan: “Ratika Kapur expertly blends irony and pathos and reveals a great skill for ventriloquism … Mrs Sharma is not immediately likable but she is unforgettable and quite unlike any other woman in Indian English fiction. An achievement.”

Mrs Sharma features in Kaveree Bamzai’s piece “11 reasons why pop culture was ruled by women in 2015” for dailyO.

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is a Sunday Guardian “best book of the year”.

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma is a #DiverseDecember/#ReadDiverse2016 recommended read in The Guardian.

An interview in The Hindu with Swati Daftuar.

A short interview in dna with Amrita Madhukalya.

An interview in the The Asian Writer with Farhana Shaikh.

Excerpts in The Ladies Finger & Scroll.in.

“Delhi’s same-sex carriages.” A piece by Ratika Kapur in the Independent.