The India Abroad and other reviews of "The Revised Kama Sutra""

Like R. K. Narayan, who wrote in "My Days" that if he could have told the story of his novel "The Guide" in a few sentences, he wouldn't have taken 90,000 words to do it, I find myself at a loss to answer a question such as, "What is your novel about?"--when the question is put to me by a new acquaintance regarding my novel "The Revised Kama Sutra." I wish to reply: "Almost anything and everything you can think of!" Or: "It would be easier to tell you what it is NOT about." (Or, to the equally difficult question: "What do you write about?": "The sex life of mosquitoes." "The love lives of Chlamydomonas.")

Anyway, on a recent trip to the U.S., I uncovered a few of my old reviews, and one of these was this review of "The Revised Kama Sutra" by Shivaji Sengupta in "India Abroad," New York., and think it is one of the most intelligent and well-phrased answers to this question. To quote a few lines:

"The Revised Kama Sutra is a novel about India in the post-Independence era."
What a terrific first line (and how relieved I am that someone told me what my novel was about).

"Ultimately, the novel is about is about young Prabhu's search for freedom from the usual constraints that Indian societies put on their people."
A nice summation, followed by:

"Everything and everybody appears funny in Crasta's eyes."

Wonderful. Well, almost everything and everybody. Wish I could say it was still so.

Here is the review in its entirety:

This and other reviews of "The Revised Kama Sutra" (there were over 50 in major magazines and newspapers, but I do not have access to all of them) can also be viewed at:

In addition, there is a new review in the Elephant Journal:

Amazon Kindle had (earlier--now corrected) described a few of these reviews as "inserted by the author"--moved by a general tendency to caution, perhaps because quite a few authors support their books with fake reviews from friends and fake accounts. You can see from the huge list of diverse reviews I have put up at flickr ( ) that it would have been impossible to fake even a fraction of those, as they are in print, and in old newsprint at that. There was no mutual backscratching, there were no favors: I knew no one, was not from a wealthy or influential family, did not come with major Western reviews, and nobody owed me anything: when my novel was first published in India, it was a first novel by a complete unknown: which makes the enthusiasm and genuineness of the reviews all the more obvious and heartwarming. (A belated thank you to all of you reviewers.)

For your convenience, here are a few links. The book is available on most e-book platforms and on my website:




joyce said…
I think your review of the reviews and reviewers is by far the best.

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