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Susmita Bhattacharya

The Normal State of Mind

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  • £8.99

It’s the end of a millennium. India has made tremendous progress in science and technology, but in these times of economic boom can a friendship between two women give them the power to defy society, and law, to reach for their dreams?


‘...a deliciously bold debut novel...  Vivid and tender, funny and bittersweet, it’s fearlessly full of surprises about what it means to be young and female in 1990s India on the cusp of change.'  

Rosie Dastgir, author, A Small Fortune
‘Instantly engaging, The Normal State of Mind is rich with the colour and flavour of India. Bhattacharya writes with a brisk, uncluttered style producing a love story with themes that cross continents. She has a perfect ear for dialogue and 20:20 vision for character.’
Martin Freeman, The Herald
‘...a warm tale of love and friendship.’  
Farhana Shaikh, The Asian Writer
'Mumbai and Calcutta come alive in Susmita's hands, the cities dancing breathlessly through the lives of their people.’
Romy Wood, author, Word on the Street
'A beautiful, evocative read.'
Abbie Wightwick, Western Mail


Dipali, a young bride, is determined to make her marriage a success story. But her plans are cut short when her husband is killed by a bomb blast in Mumbai and she struggles to find her place in life. In Calcutta, as Moushumi’s parents discuss potential husbands, the school teacher prefers to escape to her high-flying lover. But how long can she keep her forbidden affair secret beyond the safe walls of glamorous art crowd parties? In the midst of communal riots, India too has to make her own decisions about which traditions she must keep, and which she ought to let go. At the end of it all, who can decide what is the normal state of mind? 

Susmita Bhattacharya is from Mumbai, India. She received an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University in 2006 and has had many short stories and poems published in the UK and internationally. Her most recent works are included in Rarebit, Stories for Homes, Penguin Unplugged, Eleven Eleven Journal and Litro. The Normal State of Mind is her debut novel. She lives in Plymouth with her husband, two daughters and the neighbour’s cat. She facilitates creative writing in the community and blogs at http://susmita-bhattacharya.blogspot.co.uk. She tweets at @Susmitatweets.