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Identitti - Mithu Sanyal (tr. Alta L. Price)

Identitti - Mithu Sanyal (tr. Alta L. Price)

V & Q Books

Regular price €16,99 EUR
Regular price Sale price €16,99 EUR
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Our take

Mithu Sanyal is a German-Indian writer, journalist, and activist. In this debut novel, she offers a bold exploration of identity, race, and cultural appropriation in the age of social media. In “Identitti” we follow a scandal around a white professor faking her origin and skin color to appear more Indian than she really is. The story is told through the lens of one of her students, a self-proclaimed “Mixed-Race Wonder Woman”, and blends the real and the fictional by quoting real intellectuals and bloggers, presenting these quotes as tweets in the ‘race fake’ scandal. Treating a serious subject - race and identity - with humour and great knack for insightful dialogues the novel will likely make you laugh more than once.

Publisher's description

Nivedita (a.k.a. Identitti), a well-known blogger and doctoral student is in awe of her supervisor—superstar postcolonial and race studies South-Asian professor Saraswati. But her life and sense of self are turned upside down when it emerges that Saraswati is actually white. Nivedita’s praise of her professor during a radio interview just hours before the news breaks—and before she learns the truth—calls into question her own reputation as a young activist.

Following the uproar, Nivedita is forced to reflect on the key moments in her life, when she doubted her identity and her place in the world. As debates on the scandal rage on social media, blogs, and among her closest friends, Nivedita’s assumptions are called into question as she reconsiders the lessons she learned from her adored professor.

In her thought-provoking, genre-bending debut, Mithu Sanyal solicited the contributions and commentary of public intellectuals as if Saraswati were a real person. A darkly comedic tour de force, Identitti showcases the outsized power of social media in the current debates about identity politics and the power of claiming your own voice.

Praise and awards

“Sanyal actually manages to pack the whole identity-politics debate into one story — and in such a way that you have to laugh on almost every page.”

“Sanyal portrays her characters in the labyrinth of identity politics with elegance, delicious humor and deep knowledge of the issues. A book for our times.”
—Der Tagesspiegel

“What should we do with all the rage about ‘cancel culture’ and self-righteousness? Read it off, laugh it off.”
—Die Zeit

“Furious, programmatic, sharp-tongued, shape-shifting…. If only debates about cultural identity in the arts pages were conducted with the same sense of fun and self-irony as in Identitti.”
—Der Tagesspiegel

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