Serious Men

Serious Men


By (author) Manu Joseph

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  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 239mm x 31mm | 566g
  • Publication date: 10 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848543077
  • ISBN 13: 9781848543072
  • Sales rank: 844,000

Product description

Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction Ayyan Mani works in the Institute of Theory and Research as a lowly personal assistant to a brilliant, insufferable astronomer, Arvind Acharya, who is obsessed with his theory about microscopic aliens falling to earth. Stranded in an ordinary life, Ayyan knows he may not be able to escape his realities. To entertain himself, and to cheer up his weary wife, he weaves an outrageous fiction around his ten-year-old son, setting in motion a chain of extraordinary events he is unable to stop. Meanwhile, a war is brewing between rival scientists at the Institute and a beautiful astrobiologist complicates matters further. An astute observer, Ayyan follows these events closely, inventing new ways to further his own cause. Serious Men is a brilliantly funny tale of science, love and hope. Manu Joseph's assured storytelling makes this a debut to treasure.

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Author information

Manu Joseph is deputy editor and Mumbai bureau chief for OPEN magazine. Previously, he was National Features Editor of the largest newspaper in India, The Times of India, writer-at-large for Wired's website,, and has written for the Independent. In 2007 he became a Chevening Scholar, an annual British Government award for twelve journalists who will shape opinions in the future. This is his first novel.

Review quote

Funny, diverting and original Guardian Manu Joseph's first novel elegantly describes collisions with an unyielding status quo, ably counterpointing the frustrations of the powerless with the unfulfilling realities of power. With this astute comedy of manners he makes a convincing bid for his own recognition as a novelist of serious talent, the latest addition to a roster of Indian writers who are creating fine literary art from their country's fearsome contradictions Peter Carty, Independent Manu Joseph's satirical tale of an ostensibly new India still in thrall to its caste-ridden and sexist traditions is so much more than a mere comic caper ... Sophisticated entertainment Catherine Taylor, Guardian The finest comic novelists know that a small world can illuminate a culture and an age...with this sad-funny debut Joseph does just that Boyd Tonkin, Books to light up lazy days, Independent He has written a debut novel that skewers a society where new ambitions and older class divisions co-exist. From the contrasts of contemporary India, he extracts pointed, often bitter comedy Sunday Times The writing is exuberant TLS The absurdity and humiliation of social exclusion drives the comedy of one of the year's most auspicious debuts Independent A charming debut novel Guardian