> Skip to content
  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787333215
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $39.99


From the bestselling author of THE ADVERSARY

A powerful reckoning with mental illness and a search for truth and healing through the discipline of yoga, from one of the world's greatest living writers

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.

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.

  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787333215
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $39.99

About the author

Emmanuel Carrère

Emmanuel Carrère, novelist, filmmaker, journalist, and biographer, is the award-winning internationally renowned author of The Adversary (a Sunday Times bestseller and New York Times Notable Book, translated into twenty-three languages), Lives Other Than My Own, My Life as a Russian Novel, Class Trip, Limonov (winner of the 2011 Prix Renaudot), The Mustache and, most recently, The Kingdom.

Also by Emmanuel Carrère

See all

Praise for Yoga

I loved Emmanuel Carrère's Yoga... A useful manual for this era, where nothing seems connected but everything's related.

Adam Thirlwell, Times Literary Supplement *Books of the Year*

Impressive... reveals itself as a monumental book on the human condition.


Stunning...Yoga is a deeply moving reflection on the painful occupation that is living.


How does one harmonise the yin and yang of a life broken in two? Yoga is the implacable tale of a writer lost in his kingdom.


Unlike any book I've ever read... Carrère is anything but ordinary as a talent, but his great and precious gift is to reveal his own mind in such a way that illuminates the infinity that belongs to every human person.

Megan Nolan, author of ACTS OF DESPERATION

Yoga is the story of how a life can fray, tighten itself into a noose, unravel and, in the process, be built and braided into lines that make up a profound and moving work of art

Geoff Dyer

Completely arresting. He [Carrère] has the talent...of showing us his foibles without demanding that we identify with them.

The Times

A devastating portrait...[Carrère's] singular, ever-expanding work, in which one pain need never obscure another, in which truths and half-truths are held not in opposition but in delicate, precarious balance, is an answer in itself.

Sam Byers, Guardian

[Carrère's] skill in constructing a narrative from disparate materials is exceptional... [and] relentlessly interesting.


[With] relentless clarity of thought and confessional honesty... Yoga is fascinating on the purpose of meditation... [an] extraordinarily compelling account.

Financial Times

An exhilarating new work of autofiction... It's wonderful. It is Carrère's willingness to face his own flaws full in the face that makes his writing so striking, and - dare I say it - relatable.

Literary Review

An immensely engaging, lively and exciting writer... [Yoga] is increasIngly hypnotic; lyrical, hypnotic and elegant. There is no doubt that a great intellect is at work, keen to explore the depths of his own troubled mind.

Big Issue

The most exciting living writer.

Karl Ove Knausgaard

Related titles