Raving reviews for Mithu Sanyal’s IDENTITTI in Denmark!

Mithu Sanyal’s novel IDENTITTI received enormous feedback here in Germany, made the shortlist to the German Book Award in 2021 and will be translated into 7 languages. Last year the English edition was published and received the same echo from critics. Now IDENTITTI came out in Denmark and I am not sure I ever read reviews so full of praise for a book.

»Decolonize the Soul. Mithu Sanyal manages to be funny, satirical, self-ironic, surprising and academic. There are plenty of good lines, fine character drawing, and forward momentum in the story, but also a mishmash of characters from real life … It’s as simple as that. Mithu Sanyal’s novel superbly and wittily makes us wiser about who we are.« Weekendavisen Dec 9, 2022


»No one comes out of Mithu Sanyal’s literary centrifuge the same person they were before. German author Mithu Sanyal’s novel ‚Identity‘ is clever, well-written, entertaining, playful and challenges the reader’s preconceived notions about the world… This is exactly what makes Sanyal’s novel so fantastic: it tackles important issues like racism, identity politics and critical race studies with an exuberance that is both much needed and much needed. The strength of the novel is that it doesn’t provide answers but asks question after question, humorously and defiantly, but also with empathy and seriousness. But is not the same after finishing reading… No one comes out of the novel’s centrifugation as the same person he or she was before.  Sanyal’s novel is a must-read for anyone interested in postcolonial theories and discussions of identity politics. It is clever, fascinating, humorous and challenging, and at the same time the book opens up to what we could all do with more of in today’s heated debates: self-irony, constructive doubt and one’s own position and temperance over one’s own obliquity. What more can you expect from a good novel?« Information Jan 6, 2023


Press quotes on the English edition of IDENTITTI:

„Mithu Sanyal’s darkly comedic and linguistically inventive Identitti, which follows the life of a mixed-race graduate student who discovers her postcolonial studies professor is not South Asian but white, will satisfy those interested in satire and identity politics. Translated from the German by Alta L. Price.“
Words Without Borders

„Weaving in Twitter replies, blog posts, and childhood memories amidst the Saraswati chaos, Identitti is a hilarious and polyphonic roller-coaster ride.“
–Jaeyeon Yoo, Electric Literature

„[Identitti] is truly funny, often even cringe-funny. Possibly even Paul Beatty-level cringe-funny…. In keeping with this sense of real-world stakes and communal striving, Sanyal — in a truly impressive literary feat — brings the real world into her book quite literally…. Identitti is a sweet and hopeful yet critical book that lovingly pays tribute to the thought leaders who inspired not just Saraswati but also Sanyal … If only we spoke to each other more — more honestly and with more historical knowledge — about difficult topics like racism, the book suggests, we might find a way to get along.“
–Susan Bernofsky, Los Angeles Review of Books

„A provocative and knotty debut . . . a bracing story, one in which Sanyal refuses to give us the easy way out. Do not expect a facile demonization of those who shed their whiteness in favor of melanin . . . What Saraswati did, her so-called ‚racial drag, ‚ is wrong. But why, exactly? The question may seem preposterous — many would instinctively cry out, ‚It just is!‘ — but for Sanyal it is one that begets other questions, ones about immigration, gender, theory, love. She has no intention of answering those questions for us, choosing rather to leave her readers with that collegiate thrill of having to figure it out for ourselves.“
–Olivia Craighead, The New York Times

„A searing satire, one similar to those of Percival Everett or Paul Beatty…. Sanyal has created an exhaustively researched, entertaining, and timely novel about the ways social media and scandals dictate so much of the discourse about identity politics.“
–Booklist, starred review

„Provocative… surprisingly lively thanks to Sanyal’s knack for sending up academia and social media pile-ons and her canny interweaving of Hindu mythology…. A deliberately over-the-top but sensitive take on multiple touchy subjects.“
Kirkus Reviews

Press quotes on the German edition:

“You start to wish that debates on cultural identity in the arts sections of newspapers were conducted with the same passion and self-deprecation as in Identitti.” – Andreas Busch, Tagesspiegel

“Identity is as multi-faceted as Kali herself: a cross between a coming-of-age and campus novel in which a montage of theories turns into a fairy tale, and the upbeat, entertaining and even thrilling plot drives towards an ultimately conciliatory end. This novel is a perfect expression of the cultural wars taking place in our present times of digital escalation.” – Ronald Düker, Die Zeit

“On every page, you laugh out loud at least three times. Because Sanyal has an unprecedented talent for showing both the freedoms of radical thinking and the limits of discourse. With Identitti Mithu Sanyal has written one of the most original books of this spring.” – Katharina Teusch, FAZ

“Identitti – even the title is a firecracker. And Mithu Sanyal’s novel is a firecracker too, both daring and witty in equal measure. In it, the writer, who has a PhD in cultural studies, puts one of the most essential debates of our time into overdrive: the complex landscape in the wide field of identity politics.” – Claudia Kramatschek, Deutschlandfunk Lesart

“Mithu Sanyal’s novel Identitti is as refreshing as a sip of glacial water. The German author finds plenty of good words to deal with the subject of identity. Fortunately, she doesn’t only use the correct ones.” – Jörg Scheller, NZZ

“Identitti is outlandish, funny, challenging. A clever, scintillating contribution to a debate about identity and racism, as necessary as it is important, elsewhere often embittered, but conducted here in a refreshingly unblinkered fashion.” – Katja Weise, NDR Kultur

“Identitti is none other than a novel for all those who are constantly asked where they come from – and for which they have had to wait too long.” – Thomas Hummitzsch, Rolling Stone

“Be sure to read it. Really be sure to read it. And if you don’t read anything else this year, read this book!” – Gert Scobel, 3sat Buchzeit