Sara Banerji describes her style as ‘mystic realism’ – her stories are peopled with vivid characters, whose lives are shot through with magic as well as very real human emotions. They are recounted with dark humour that can all too easily tip over into horror. Critics describe her voice as ‘original and highly imaginative’ ‘entertaining’, ‘bold’, ‘punchy’, ‘exciting’, ‘gripping, fluid and confident’. She is widely acclaimed as ‘a gifted storyteller’.
“Bookbag loved this book.”
– The Bookbag
Snobbish, aloof and eighty years old, Lady Arabella Cunningham-Smythe wishes she were dead. Then at least she could join her late husband as they had planned so meticulously before he died. But a band of well meaning friends and relations are determined to thwart her wishes. It is only when her beloved four year old granddaughter Naomi – who has magical powers – is kidnapped that things change. Lady Arabella must regain the will to live if she is to turn detective, successfully outwit a mass murderer – and learn to master her mobile phone.
“…it tells a story that seems timeless, like a myth or a dream.”
– The Times
In a village just outside of modern-day Calcutta, a young girl sends her baby floating down a sacred river towards an unknown destiny. Over the years, the river, the golden chain found around his neck, and the hand of fate will link the life of the Baby Karna to that of a host of other characters; his teenage mother, Koonty; his half-brother and rival, Arjuna; his destitute foster mother, Dolly; as well as ruthless street thugs, politicians, pariahs and film stars. Arts Council of England Award Winner.
When Sangita, Ranee of Bidwar, is caught up in a scandal, her husband, the Raja, banishes her from the palace and forbids access to her son, Anwar, still a babe in arms. She lives miserably as a disgraced woman, praying to the god Ganesh that he will take Anwar from her husband, so that he would know her suffering. Then, Anwar goes missing. Tikkipala is a hypnotic tale of love and preservation at a time of fading empires. Meticulously and soulfully written, Banerji takes the heart on a journey through mystical cultures and spiritual practices, to a world where anything is possible if love is strong enough.
“A bold, fantastical work of the imagination whose ending is an extraordinary marriage of pyrotechnics and grace.”
– The Observer
It is the Second World War and the human race stands at the crossroads: self-destruction or a glorious evolutionary step to higher consciousness. In the grand and moated Plague House, served since the start of the war only by the spiteful charlady, Mrs Lovage, live beautiful Elizabeth and her thirteen-year-old twins – plump pyromaniac George and Sissy, struggling with her mother for her brother’s love. Into this strange household comes Lump – otherwise known as Hush – intent on saving the world. But initial confidence wavers as stress, conflict, fire and death are encountered in an inspired and memorable finale.
The Wedding of Jayanti Mandel
“Told with a detached and ironic humour, this remarkable novel captures the authentic feel of modern India – its extremes, its mysticism, its pathos and its beauty.”
Jayanti is an avid reader of romantic magazines, and the plans for her marriage – a marriage of convenience which will further extend the Mandel influence – seem depressingly loveless to her; the more so as the wedding day approaches and incerasingly bloody events surround the Mandel clan as they jostle for power…
In a once great , now falling, mansion live an aristocratic family: Alice, huge, sad and longing for love; her paralysed mother who is subject to wild and eccentric enthusiasms; and the foster child Agnes, whose desire to be an actress sets in motion a train of bizarre and horrifying events.
Writing on Skin
When Hermione – eccentric, seventy and returned from India to a ‘safe’ life in the Home Counties – encounters Slug street-painting on the pavement, she employs him as assistant gardener. Slug, who has the motto ‘Never Grow Old’ tattooed across his head, will soon sort out Gerald, the pin-striped head gardener, soften his ruthless marshalling of her plants and introduce a more effusive atmosphere to her estate. But when Hugh, Hermione’s huge husband, dies, Slug’s skinhead cronies begin to threaten her peace, and Hermione retreats to the chaos of India, chasing the memories of her previous life. What happened to the young Indian with whom she fell passionately in love when she was nineteen, and who had insisted that she marry the more ‘suitable’ Hugh? Can she recreate the dream of over fifty years ago?
The Tea Planter’s Daughter
“A novel of repression and desire bathed in the warm sun of magical realism… Banerji has proved that her imaginative landscape is as fertile as ever.”
– Literary Review
Sara Banerji narrates the events of an extraordinary birthday party with deft humour and haunting eloquence, weaving into Julia’s story a picture of an isolated tea-plantation and all those who live there. The Tea-Planter’s Daughter is a captivating flight of the imagination firmly rooted in the reality of the South Indian hills.
“…the magical imagery, persuasive mysticism and sensuousness of this tale are enchanting.”
– The New York Times
As a child – so tiny and delicate that her beloved father calls her ‘fairy’ – Morgan has a special relationship with nature, for she can hear the Silence, the harmonising force that creates and sustains all things. But with adolescence comes a loss of childhood innocence and the intrusion into her perfect world of an unwanted step-mother and baby sister. Cobwebwalking is a perceptive story about shattered childhood dreams and the painful awakening to self-awareness.
“Banerji has a wonderful prose style – her writing is fluid and confident and extremely imaginative. She knows how to meld shimmering prose with rollicking, high-powered adventure…”
— Sunday Business Post
“Sara Banerji is one of the most entertaining and original novelists now writing and readers who have not yet entered the remarkable worlds of her stories should do so at once.”
— Sunday Times
“Banerji’s prose verges on the whimsical side of fantasy and startles us with its insights into love and rejection.”
— Evening Standard
“Sara Banerji is a very gifted storyteller, a natural writer of great warmth and directness.”