Exquisite Cadavers

Meena Kandasamy author


Publisher:Atlantic Books

Published:7th Nov '19


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Exquisite Cadavers cover

From the author of When I Hit You, shortlisted for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction

Karim and Maya:
[x] share a home
[x] worry about money
[x] binge-watch films
[x] argue all the time

Karim, a young film-maker, carries with him the starry-eyed dreams of the Arab Revolution. Maya carries her own pressing concerns: an errant father, an unstable job, a chain-smoking habit, a sudden pregnancy. When Karim's brother disappears in Tunis, and Karim wants to go after him, Maya must choose between her partner and her home city, her future and her history...

In a conversation between forms, fictions and truths, Exquisite Cadavers is a novel about a young couple navigating love in London, and a literary hall of mirrors about an author navigating the inspirations behind her work.


'An inventive fusion' Observer
'A work of brilliance' Financial Times
'Wonderful' LitHub

Thank god for writing like this. For books like this. For this level of experimentation, combined with such control, such tenderness and wit. * Max Porter, author of Lanny *
Exquisite Cadavers' experiment delivers a book that is slyly funny and profoundly thoughtful. It is common for critics and readers to belittle women by assuming they write out of catharsis rather than to create. Exquisite Cadavers is not just a fierce rebuttal. It's a work of brilliance. * Financial Times *
An inventive fusion of fact and fiction. * Observer *
Fascinating... The cleverness of Kandasamy's bricolage is that it allows her to explicitly separate fiction and memoir, while ensuring they're intimately intertwined. * Guardian *
A smart, complex book. * Guardian *
The key question about Exquisite Cadavers, however, is does all of this work? That is the hardest question to answer, because the terms are that it should be an experiment - there has never been a book quite like this. Better to ask, then, whether it surprises, grips, makes the reader take notice - all those things literature is supposed to do - to which the answer is, easily, yes, yes, and yes again. * The Irish Times *
It's wonderful, a different view of difference. * LitHub *
Kandasamy achieves the unachievable in this genre-defying, brilliant and satisfying double narrative. She subverts the mainstream by inserting her self into the margins of this timely novella. In doing so, she adds depth and intensity to an already gripping story of a mixed-race millennial couple grappling with identity, unexpected parenthood, zero-hour contracts and nearsightedness within academia. There is nothing Kandasamy can't do. * Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is A Foreign Country *
A rich and absorbing text full of allusion... Kandasamy's work becomes more bold and exciting with each new book. * The Skinny *
Absorbing and innovative * The Herald *
An extraordinary formally-inventive, beautiful at sentence-level novella. * Belfast Telegraph *
This is hands-down the most emotionally resonant book I have read this year. In this fragmented literary experiment, Kandasamy flawlessly combines the political and the personal with her searing insight and dazzling literary prowess. * Book Riot *
Wildly inventive and inimitable * Mint *
A tightly packed experiment in literary fiction, toggling between life and art, the margin and the centre, stories and meta-stories * Open The Magazine *
Astute metafictional observations * New Statesman *
Defies all expectations of how prose should be laid out on the page. While it is ostensibly about a relationship, it also comments in the margins on Indian politics and the writer's own creative process. * Bernardine Evaristo, TLS *
Both an excellent exercise in form and a deeply evocative love story. * Publisher's Weekly *
Sharply observed, beautiful, smart writing. This book is an engagement with art and life on their own terms, demanding its readers level up their thinking * Booklist *
The two-column format of the book presents questions about how we read, what story is, and what a novel can be. The lives of Maya and Karim, a young, London-based couple, are rendered in prose that is both poetic and ironic, while the voice of the author-character, sitting side-by-side, is at once philosophical and grimly witty. * Novuyo Tshuma, The Millions *

  • Long-listed for DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2020 (UK)

ISBN: 9781786499653

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 7mm

Weight: 244g

112 pages