This is a book about yoga. Or at least, it was.
January 2015. High on literary success and familial bliss, Emmanuel Carrere embarks on a rigorous ten-day meditative retreat in rural France in search of clarity and material for his next book, which he thinks will be a subtle, upbeat introduction to yoga. But his trip is cut short, and he is brought down to earth with a thud as he returns to a Paris in turmoil in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.
From then on, Carrere’s life begins to unravel, along with his novel-in-progress. He is diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and is sectioned to a psychiatric hospital for a four-month stint, where he is subject to electroshock therapy. His marriage crumbles, he is struck by grief at the death of a close friend and is haunted by a love affair with a mysterious woman who disappeared from his life. Pushed to the edge of sanity and forced to reckon with his identity as a man and a writer, Carrere sets out on a life of action instead of meditation.
This is a book that embraces the Yin and Yang of life: the pull between life and death, desire and despair, presence and absence, fight and flight. It is a book about a world and a man in tumult, and about how surprisingly far practising meditation – and writing about it – can take us in life. With raw honesty and humour, YOGA gives us the self-portrait of a man struggling to live with himself and others, by one of our greatest and most surprising international writers.
I loved Emmanuel Carrere's Yoga... A useful manual for this era, where nothing seems connected but everything's related. -- Adam Thirlwell * Times Literary Supplement *Books of the Year* * Unlike any book I've ever read... Carrere is anything but ordinary as a talent, but his great and precious gift is to reveal his own mind in such a way that illuminates the infinity that belongs to every human person. * Megan Nolan, author of ACTS OF DESPERATION * Impressive... reveals itself as a monumental book on the human condition. * L'Obs * Stunning...Yoga is a deeply moving reflection on the painful occupation that is living. * Elle * How does one harmonise the yin and yang of a life broken in two? Yoga is the implacable tale of a writer lost in his kingdom. * L'Express * Yoga is the story of how a life can fray, tighten itself into a noose, unravel and, in the process, be built and braided into lines that make up a profound and moving work of art * Geoff Dyer * The most exciting living writer. -- Karl Ove Knausgaard
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