‘A lyrical and highly erotic love story’
        — The Mail on Sunday
‘Just finished reading Alchemy … what a masterpiece… hope you live another story so you can write it.’

      — Anuradha Mahindra

‘I just finished your book and think it’s absolutely wonderful. Enjoyed every page. It will live with me for a long, long time…’
— Prabuddha Dasgupta

"A bold, sensual novel about art, inspiration and the disintegration of a relationship...Tejpal's writing is unpredictable yet strikingly disciplined, and his explorations of matters physical and spiritual point out often painful truths." - WASHINGTON POST

"Amid the endless cascade of semi-genuine Indian novels by Indian Americans comes the real thing, The Alchemy of Desire, a kaleidoscopic first novel by a top Indian journalist, erotically rooted in the country." -PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

"Sizzling, sultry ... all right, sexy: Tarun J. Tejpal's The Alchemy of Desire has knocked 'em dead in the rest of the English-speaking world and is now singeing eyebrows in the USA." - SANDIEGO.COM

"Tejpal ties the reader into a sordid tale of murderous intrigue that draws to an apt conclusion. The novel is, to use a cliche, thrillerlike in its breathless pace. Tejpal's narrator is the portrait of an artist as the solitary reaper of grim destinies and difficult emotions. That alone ensures that the reader will connect with him at a deeply personal level." - PHILLY.COM

"In The Alchemy of Desire, New Delhi-based journalist Tarun J. Tejpal has written a stunningly original novel." - THE TENNESSEAN

"A fascinating analysis of 20th century India, a painfully accurate study of a writer in the writerly anguish of trying to write, and an endless Scheherazadian weave of stories-within-stories-within-stories — all in engaging and colourful prose, a literary crazy quilt of love, family, culture, politics and history." - LA TIMES

‘Engaging and astute: he turns a clear eye on the social and political quirks, inequalities and contradictions of modern India… a lively and persistently entertaining novel’ - LITERARY REVIEW

‘Tejpal explores women’s desire with rare intelligence and sensitivity. The reader, spellbound, is never turned into a voyeur, but is caught up in this Indian magician’s stunning prose’- PSYCHOLOGIES MAGAZINE

‘He has a compassionate eye and an instinctive understanding of the underprivileged, the simple and the dispossessed. The wretchedness of ordinary people’s is well caught, the tragedies, the telling detail and the convulsive changes the subcontinent has suffered over the past 60 years’ -SPECTATOR

‘Throughout the novel, Tejpal’s sensuous language produces moments of breathtaking beauty, and he displays a poet’s joy in catching the feel, odour and appearance of the living world’ - BIG ISSUE

‘A startling work of Nabokovian fiction’ - HINDU

‘One of the most attractive Indian writers in English of his generation, he writes with a great deal of raw energy, inventively employing images which are at once sad, haunting, horrendously comic and beautiful’ - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘‘This Indian masterpiece is like a voyage down the Ganges, long and infinitely pleasurable; the only thing that worries you is getting to the end too soon’ - FIGARO

The Alchemy of Desire is anything but safe. One of its most soaring notes is its exploration of passion... The novel details intimate relationships with few missteps, without reducing them to voyeuristic fodder. The passion in the novel is deeply organic to the characters and the narrative. As an attempt to compel readers to look at desire without the crippling impulse of shame and hypocrisy, it works beautifully. In many ways, the novel is like the man himself: gritty, unrestrained yet bound by a personal code of honour.

"It’s rich sexuality lifts this work way, way above the ordinary. Rare is the Indian writer in English who has ventured thus far with the language, force, imagery and originality...Tejpal is audacious as would be those who venture to assault the Himalayas...there are echoes of Nabokov, shades of Henry Miller and Philip Roth; and, influences of Rushdie and Jim Corbett. None of which diminish the originality of a novel that is, paradoxically, as exciting as it is a pleasure."

"The Alchemy of Desire would have been significant even without Naipaul's is an ambitious novel: it not only attempts to encompass much of contemporary India, it also forays into colonial territory... it has much that is admirable...In the first half, the novel is at its strongest when it inscribes the diurnal rhythms of the narrator's life: conversations with an elderly servant over chai, spare bachelor flats in Delhi, whiskey talk, highway vignettes, the tragic unraveling of a (Sikh-Muslim) marriage. In the second half, it assumes the urgency of a thriller ... Throughout, it reveals Tejpal's eye for characterisation and description." - THE GUARDIAN

The Alchemy of Desire is a bold book..and at times when you least expect it, a funny book. This is also a book about women. Extremely strong women. Fiza, Bibi Lahori and Catherine are the kind of characters you would want to meet in real life. The kind of women you could promptly fall passionately in love with. This is an immensely ambitious novel that manages to stay afloat despite the many twists and turns that could easily drag a lesser work down. Spread across five parts -- each capable of being a vibrant novella -- this is a story about the spirit of desire implicit in each of us. In a little over 200,000 words, Tejpal manages to encompass whole lives, along with the galaxies of emotion contained therein. -REDIFF.COM

Tarun Tejpal is a hormonally-fuelled writer obsessed with the act of creation in its widest sense, delighted to flout the “never write about sex” maxim that his character unwisely sets himself. Largely avoiding cliché or off-putting gynaecological detail, Tejpal beats an erotic path through the depths of human desire: sexual, artistic, political... a memorable and impressive debut, says Lucy Atkins
As a fearless online sleuth, he shook the government. Now Tarun Tejpal, India's journalist hero, has turned from fact to fiction. Priyanka Gill meets him
It’s rich sexuality lifts this work way, way above the ordinary. Rare is the Indian writer in English who has ventured thus far with the language, force, imagery and originality, says Shastri Ramachandran
Those two journalists, Marquez and Hemingway will be proud of their tribesman, Tarun J Tejpal, says Paul Zacharia
“Safe books bore me,” says Tarun J Tejpal discussing his book and the experience of writing in the thick of battle with Lindsay Pereira
Tejpal has found his story with a panache seldom seen in first novels – in grand strokes. With its eroticism and excitement of ideas this book heralds an arrival, says S Prasannarajan