It’s the 2020s and things are complicated.

Then there’s a scandal: Prof. Saraswati is a white woman – and nothing could be worse. Because she holds the chair of Postcolonial Studies in Düsseldorf and is the supreme goddess of identity debates, in which she describes herself as a person of colour. Never before has a story of the present day been so fast-paced and told with such ease.

Nivedita is flipping out.

Born in Germany to an Indian father, she strongly identifies with her professor – but what is identity after all? As if Sally Rooney, Beyoncé and Frantz Fanon got together and watched Sex Education, the hunt for “real” belonging begins.

While Saraswati receives online threats and demonstrators demand her resignation, Nivedita asks her some probing questions: Is our identity just our personality, or is it more defined by our gender or skin colour? Is it possible to get rid of whiteness? What’s sex got to do with it?

Mithu Sanyal’s writing is filled with wonderful self-deprecating humour and liberating insights. No one leaves the centrifugal force of this novel in the same way they started.


Sample translation in English available!