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The Alchemy of Desire

by Tarun Tejpal

What happens when a young man obsessed by the physical need for his wife and the intellectual need to write The Great Indian Novel finds scores of diaries detailing another obsessive passion? Read this huge, beautifully written and absorbing novel to reach a satisfying and, for me, completely unpredictable conclusion: and, again in my case, to learn a great deal about recent Indian history.

Extract

When I lay down, she unzipped her moist flesh and fed all of me into it. My nose, my mouth, my fingers, my ache. The musk of her love swamped my senses and my entire life was instantly refined to one word. Fizz.

Leaving everything else for later, I went looking for where her hair began and worked my way through its musky trails to where there was none. And having found her burning core, and having drunk of it, I left it, and wandered her body, only to keep circling back for more sustenance.

Parallels

Possession by A S Byatt
The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo Coelho
 

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