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400 Pages, 5.08 x 7.80

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: January 2023

ISBN 9780143457046

Rights: US, CA, UK, EUR, AU & NZ

Penguin Books India (Jan 2023)
India Penguin

Price: $15.95


Life is a brief, waking dream—but who casts the spell?

Two striking women, Kamala and Shaly, helm an unusual household, fueled by their intense, tempestuous romance in a rapidly changing Bangalore. Downstairs, Kamala's sons take care of each other in their own way-the twins are bound together by an early accident that paralysed Shiva, making Aadi his brother's caretaker. Beautiful Shaly is the object of more than one person's affections—and she, too, has a complicated past.

When Kamala's mother dies, she returns to Kerala—to an ancestral house of horrors which lies next to the cremation grounds in Cochin's outlying reaches: a place which, nevertheless, is home. However, nothing can prepare her for the devastation that ensues in this lyrical, hallucinatory trip of a story.

Utterly gripping and powerfully unsettling, Sangeetha Srinivasan's phenomenal debut subverts received ideas about society, individuality and motherhood. Acid unravels the secrets that lurk beneath the surface oif our lives, and marks the entry of a searing new voice in the Indian literary landscape.


"Acid is a tempestuous and turbulent trip: hallucinogenic and haywire, imbued with a melancholia that is hard to shake off. . . . Sreenivasan’s English translation of her own work is masterfully accomplished." —Hindustan Times

"It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth,” said Jorge Luis Borges. Sangeetha Sreenivasan proves that two women loving each other could be like living mirrors creating a labyrinth where they themselves, as well as everyone associated with them, are entrapped. . . . Borges had said that the original is unfaithful to the translation. Not for Acid: both versions (Sreenivasan has done the translation herself) are unfailingly compelling." —The Hindu

"A brilliant novel. The author has deftly spun a yarn around the tale of a dysfunctional family and this bold novel heralds the arrival of a powerful new voice in India. . . .  It's bold, brave and does not shy from tackling even taboo subjects. . . . Sangeetha is a very powerful writer." —New Asian Writing

Author Biography

Sangeetha Sreenivasan is a novelist and scriptwriter who writes both in Malayalam and English. She has recently translated Elena Ferrante's Days of Abandonment into Malayalam to much acclaim.