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Penguin to publish Saikat Majumdar’s new novel The Remains Of The Body

Penguin Random House India is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Saikat Majumdar’s new book The Remains of the Body, to be published under the Vintage imprint and released in June 2024. Focusing on friendship and intimacy between three Indian immigrants in North America, this is an intricate fiction from a writer known for his exploration of the unpredictable nature of human sexuality.

Two men in their mid-thirties, childhood friends, share a deep bond that is put to an unexpected test as one’s marriage to a woman starts to crumble under the conflicting arcs of immigrant ambition. As the marriage loses its last breath in an unexpected affair, the other friend, a single man, faces questions about his own desire that he cannot answer. Whose body does he long to touch? Can a man’s intimacy with a woman mask his inexpressible desire for someone who lies beyond his reach?

Delving deeper into questions of love, longing, and intimacy, The Remains of the Body challenges conventional notions of marriage and friendship and asks questions about the primitive ways in which human beings reach out to each other.

Commenting on his book, Saikat Majumdar says, ‘As a writer, I’m deeply drawn to the shapelessness of human sexuality, particularly when it changes form between family, society, and conjugal partnerships. This novel came to me sharply and intensely, as a small, carved object holding strange patterns within a marriage and a childhood friendship, stirred and broken by impossible desires for which we have no names.’

Elizabeth Kuruvilla, Associate Publisher, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘We are proud to be publishing Saikat Majumdar’s novel under the Vintage literary imprint. The Remains of the Body is an extraordinary novel that excavates, with great sensitivity, unnamed, unexplored, but deeply felt desires in a male friendship. It leaves a deep imprint upon the reader’s mind.’

Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘The Remains of the Body by Saikat Majumdar, in my view, is his best work so far. A sensitive and compelling exploration of desire, marriage and friendship, it will make you revisit and question the established norms of love and intimacy.”

About the author

Saikat Majumdar is the author of four novels: Silverfish, The Firebird/Play House, The Scent of God— acclaimed as one of the major queer novels to come out of India following the decriminalisation of homosexuality—and most recently, The Middle Finger, a contemporary college campus novel that seeks to retell ancient myths.

He has also published nonfiction and criticism, including the book Prose of the World, and College: Pathways of Possibility – a widely read book on liberal education in India. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Ashoka University and was a Fellow at the Wellesley College Humanities Center and the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study in South Africa.

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