Emmanuel Carrère

Yoga
  • Yoga

  • This is a book about yoga. Or at least, it was.

    January 2015. High on literary success and familial bliss, Emmanuel Carrère 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, Carrère'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, Carrère sets out on a life of action instead of meditation. He goes on a reporting trip to Iraq to investigate Saddam Hussein's mysterious blood Quran, and gets involved in the refugee crisis on the Greek island of Leros. But still, he is stalked by existential dread, and the hollow sense that something has gone horribly wrong in the world, if not just in his own mind.

    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.

Emmanuel Carrère is a novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and film director. He is the award-winning, internationally renowned author of fifteen books including My Life as a Russian Novel, Limonov, The Kingdom, 97,196 Words, and the Sunday Times bestselling The Adversary. He lives in Paris.

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