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The Body Myth

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Mira is a teacher living in the heart of Suryam, a modern bustling in city India, and the only place in the world the fickle Rasagura fruit grows. Mira lives alone, and with only the French existentialists as companions, until the day she witnesses a beautiful woman having a seizure in the park. Mira runs to help her but is cautious, for she could have sworn the woman look ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by The Unnamed Press
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  228 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Rakhi Dalal
I finished reading The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee few days back and have since been trying to write an honest review for the same. But frankly, this book has me divided in my opinion. While starting with this work, we are advised by the author, or cautioned if you prefer, to take the story as one would take a large pill and rightly so.

The writer’s style is impressive and you can’t help but falling in love with it so much so that the book becomes unputdownable. You start reading and the charact
Elyse  Walters
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Readers know what it feels like to get hooked - pulled into a novel immediately.
We literally swallow the beginning of “The Body Myth”.
Here’s how it begins...
“Take my story like you would a large pill. Place it on your tongue and swallow it in one gulp. I intend to write the truth. Truth is perspective, and I have been scrupulous with mine”.

So, yes.... I was hooked from the start. I took my pill, gulped it down with water and continued to be ‘yanked’ into the wonderful make-believe city-Suryam
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

“Perhaps they had done this before. Perhaps somewhere in this house were the remains of a broken heart, another widow who fell for their charms only to have her spirit shattered.”

One word: Weird. And not necessarily a good kind of weird.
This short novel strikes me as being confused: it doesn't know what it wants to be.
Somehow it seemed that this novel was less than the sum of its parts.
“We didn't possess the exact same background to grid our foundation, but we were similar enough t
Tanuj Solanki
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21-century, owned, india, 2019
The philosophy-quoting, polyamory-ok Mira (the narrator) dazzles us with her dalliances, deliberations, segues, insights. Mira's irreverent idiom reminds us of narrators created by Carmen Maria Machado and Otessa Moshfegh. It feels strange, then, that the resolution that the novel provides Mira prioritizes happiness at the cost of philosophical inquiry and locates that happiness in society-ok monogamy.


A brief note on rasagura, the imaginary fruit that only grows in and around the imaginary ci
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very unusual book . I read it with the laptop handy because I have limited knowledge of Indian apparel and cuisine . That was an education and I plan to make a pod-like desert once I find a new source of raw milk for cheese-making . I learned about Sufi music and was able to listen to some via You Tube , but it won't replace 1963-75 rock in my heart . I was familiar with some of the spiritual and mystical aspects .
Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-reads
(@unnamedpress #partner)
sitting here, having just finished this book, i know i have a lot to process. from the start, this story grabbed me with the same intensity that Mira was grabbed by Sara and Rahil. there were moments where i found myself as enthralled by their sickly sultry life, despite knowing how potentially toxic and maladaptive it was. for a moment you question, wait, am I Mira? this book will draw you in to the story and have you questioning how you feel throughout its unraveling.
This whole book feels like one big vibe check, so basically it was wild. Full review available here! ...more
Shishir Chaudhary
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a privileged woman who has read a few philosophers, sits in fancy cafes with a Macbook to write a book, tom-toms every single person she meets with serious sounding pseudo-intellectual garbage completely out of context, and claims to have a point of view, half-baked though, on every single thing - from World War to Existentialism to Mental Illness to Sufism to Threesome. That's the author of this book for you. Or at least, that's the image I have formed in my head of her after reading th ...more
Liz Prato
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Rheea Mukherjee’s novel, The Body Myth, and it’s SO GOOD. It’s a focused and yet somehow encompassing story that invokes all the senses. The characters are multi-dimensional, and the plot is full of tension AND manages to dip into backstory AND luxuriate in the moment. It’s short, but doesn’t sacrifice plot, character, or lyricism. Gorgeous.
Manjiri Indurkar
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me all of 17 hours to finish Rheea Mukherjee's unputdownable book, The Body Myth. It was my last book of 2018, and I am happy that it turned out to be that way because I ended my year on a rather high note. The Body Myth is primarily the story of three characters Mira, Sara, and Rahil. Mira, a widow, is grieving the loss of her husband and trying to find her place in the world when she encounters Sara and Rahil. Sara, who suffers from a strange ailment that is as physical as it is psycho ...more
Indu Manohar
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The protagonist, Mira, is a lot like that one friend in your circle with the tragic past. Everyone likes to speculate about her romantic liaisons behind her back, but very few people truly know anything about her life.

One can imagine that since her husband's untimely death, she has withdrawn from her past groups of friends in favor of intermittent communication with one intimate confidant.
You, the reader, are that confidant. You get to hear her side of the story outside of rumour, unkind remar
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A disclaimer: I've known Rheea since we were spotty bratty teenagers, and so I have no objectivity. I went into this book knowing that it would be good, and I came out of the book confirmed in that view.

Is this a love story? How do you know someone, how do you KNOW them, where do you find their core authentic self - and what if there is no such thing as an authentic self?

Mira is a widow, falling in love with Sara and Rahul. Who is Sara, really? Why is she I'll, what is wrong, can it be fixed?
Indrayudh Ghoshal
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got hold of an ARC.

The storytelling was so fluid, and vivid, that it made it hard to put down. I rarely feel that way about literary fiction.

The characters, their inner clocks, their motivations and machinations, elevate the seemingly plain setting of the book almost to thriller level, without ever losing flow.

This makes it my best fiction read of the last couple of years.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review on my blog:

Suryam a small Indian city is the only place where the Rasagura fruit grows. Mira a resident of this city, and a teacher by profession lost her husband recently in a road accident, less than an year after their marriage. One day she meets Sara and her husband Rahil in a park, as she notices Sara having a sudden seizure. That chance encounter quickly turns into deep friendship. and soon an obsession for Mira whose life was pretty unin
Susan Deborah S
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book intrigued and perplexed me - An unusual story of love, life and living congealed within the premise of the intellectual and spiritual mind. Rheea's writing has always touched a chord and this offering is no different. Her writing flows seamlessly almost as if one is having a conversation with chamomile tea and oatmeal cookies. You never for a second imagine that you are reading the story of a threesome relationship because it all integrates flawlessly.
Mohammad Faiz Ali
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just read this.
I'm shook.

Satyavrat Krishnakumar
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I got an ARC of the book.

The art of the review, if it possessed any to begin with, has like many other things gone the Zomato way. Mr. Shah liked the ambience, but the waiter's lack of an antebellum sense of servitude left a lot to be desired. What we are left with is a hackneyed, threadbare grocery list, colored with splashes of rococo prejudice serving as the only reminder that there is indeed a person typing all this out. This review endeavors to be no more than that. The brief r
Sumitra Sunder
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Body Myth is a spectacular piece of writing. Taking the reader through complex emotions like grief and loss as well as touching upon subjects that are not discussed as often as they should be (Polyamoury and Queerness for instance), Rheea Mukherjee is able to make this seem simple. This book has been a long awaited read for me ever since I heard about it.

What I particularly like is the way the characters are developed and make you feel like they may be seated right next to you... Sara and R
First of all, it was so engaging Rheea Mukherjee has a crisp, cool, and clear voice that immerses you in Mira’s life. The Body Myth is San Francisco meets bustling Suryam City. The narrator Mira falls hard in love with sickly and spiritual Sara, and her devoted husband Rahil. She reflects on it and just keeps on going.

(view spoiler)
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book absolutely blew my mind because of its daring unconventionality, its hypnotising narrative, and its outstanding treatment of topics that might otherwise seem profoundly shocking and even - on occasion - perhaps unimaginable. A word of caution, though: if you're looking for something sweet, safe, comforting...don't pick this one up. It is anything but. The Body Myth certainly isn't meant for the faint-hearted reader. Leave all your expectations at the door and dive right in, to a world ...more
Siddharth Gupta
Discomfort, by definition is something that we are trained to avoid, or walk away from. Yet somehow, it is the unifying factor of human life, forcing us to confront the banal truth of life - chaos is not the exception, but the rule. Order is not real, but simply an illusion we construct to distract us. That’s something that deeply appealed to me while reading this book. In a beautiful piece weaving together bold, unchartered areas of polyandry, pansexuality, Munchausen’s disease, rapid sufism, a ...more
Harshita Gupta
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
The body myth is about Polyamory, irksome, weird and yet still settled relationship of Mira, Sara, and Rahil. This threesome thing in the book will surely make many readers uncomfortable and question the current sanity of relationships in modern India. Let alone reality, it was harder to see such relationships developing in the Indian society, even in the case of fiction backdrop.
The narrator Mira, a school teacher, is a thirty-two-year-old widow, who lost her husband within seven months of her
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Irksome. That’s the closest word to express what I felt while (and after) reading this book. More so after because I wasn’t sure why I felt that way.

The writing is good, no doubt about it. The language is clear as well. The subject is bold, new and unconventional. Despite these, there were a few things that just did not work for me.

The narrative starts out beautifully but loses potency in a few pages and trails off eventually. The characters are modeled carelessly and in several places the dia
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh, this was just lovely. A unique and unconventional story about polyamory and mental illness with beautiful musings on the body, the mind, grief, loneliness, and relationships.
Interesting story. I truly felt as if I was an observer of the threesome, looking down on them from above, rather than moving through the story alongside them. Very weird for me, but not in a bad way.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Simple Review:

Month - Amazing book, Read it in last December.

First Page Thoughts - It was really slow, Like you wouldn't know whats happening and why it is happening until the mid pages, But it all makes sense when you end the book.

Character Introduction & Memory - Good, There are 3 main characters, And very few side characters. It is easy to get connected with...But as I said. You can feel the actual connection when you are 60% through the book.

Story - Aww man, What can I say. It's "Di
Sayantani Dasgupta
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Smart, elegant, and sharp, this novel dives into flawed characters and brings to fore conversations about all kinds of mental health, grief, and loneliness. I loved it, and cannot think of any other contemporary novel that does this with such beauty and intelligence. I loved Mukherjee’s first book—a collection of short stories—and I love this too. Mira, Sara, and Rahil are characters that’ll stay with you.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
The plot is a mess.
But it pulled me in successfully in this mess with its engaging writing style.

The characters are too messed up.
Their lives so messed up that there's no coming back out of this tangled mess.

This read is an adult contemporary dealing with adult relationships, grief and mental health, lgbt, Munchausen Syndrome.

These issues have been handled well in the sense that the characters and the situations they were involved in were realistic but also these issues haven't been handled well
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gautam Sasidharan
The Body Myth is the story of Mira, for whom pain is a constant counterpart. Mira grows without knowing a happy mother, leaving a void in her. Mira is given another void when she loses her husband in less than a year of her marriage. Mira copes up to this loss with the help of books by Western philosophers. And then on a fine day she walks into a relationship which builds a new life for her.

The Body Myth is the story of Sara. Sara has many dimensions and to pin her down to one characteristic wil
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Rheea Mukherjee's work has been featured in, Huffington Post, Chicago Review Of Books, Electric Literature, Southern Humanities Review, Cleaver Magazine, Out of Print, and Bengal Lights, among others.

Her debut novel The Body Myth is forthcoming in the U.S (February 2019) by Unnamed Press. Her previous fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart and was a semi-finalist for the Black Lawre

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