The Age of Shiva: Book summary and reviews of The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri

The Age of Shiva

A Novel

By Manil Suri

The Age of Shiva
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2008,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

Meera, the narrator, is seventeen years old when she catches her first glimpse of Dev, performing a song so infused with passion that it arouses in her the first flush of erotic longing. She wonders if she can steal him away from Roopa, her older, more beautiful sister, who has brought her along to see him.

It is only when her son is born that Meera begins to imagine a life of fulfillment. She engulfs him with a love so deep, so overpowering, that she must fear its consequences.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Suri's vivid portrait of a woman in post-independence India engages timeless themes of self-determination." - Publishers Weekly.

"Non-Indian readers will be able to relate to the family dynamics here, but a passing knowledge of Indian customs and recent history, especially during Indira Gandhi's four-term rule as prime minister (1966–77; 1980–84), would be helpful." - Library Journal.

"The Age of Shiva admittedly has its doldrums. The bland Dev seems unbelievable in the pop music scene. For many, many pages, we wish Meera would rid herself of this parasite. Describing drift, the narrative itself lapses into drift. And those chapters in which Meera addresses her son fall into an irritatingly cloying tone.

Still, the patient reader will be rewarded. Amid a tumultuous era of Indian history, Suri tells a bittersweet love story imbued with timeless mythic overtones. His Meera fascinates and infuriates. What matters most is that he makes us care." - The San Francisco Chronicle.

"While The Age of Shiva is smartly written, you may wish that Suri had cut short this extended foray into Meera's cramped, queasy reality. B." - Entertainment Weekly.

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Author Information

Manil Suri Author Biography

Manil Suri was born in July, 1959 in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). He spent several years of his life acquiring degrees in mathematics (B.Sc. (1979), University of Bombay; M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983), Carnegie-Mellon University) followed by several years climbing the academic ladder as a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (assistant (1983–89), associate (1989–94), full professor (1994–present). This is the only job he has ever had, and he is amazed to wake up and discover (on most days) that he still likes it.

He claims that writing has been a way for him to escape the horror of being a mathematician. (It is rumored he also complains frequently to his colleagues of the horror of being a writer, declaring mathematics to be ...

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