The City of Devi: Book summary and reviews of The City of Devi by Manil Suri

The City of Devi

A Novel

By Manil Suri

The City of Devi
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2013,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

As Mumbai empties under the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation, Sarita, a thirty-three-year-old statistician, can only think of one thing: being reunited with Karun, her physicist husband. Why has he vanished? Who is he running from? How will they form the family of three he's always wanted? To find him, Sarita must journey across the surreal landscape of a near-abandoned city, braving gangs of competing Hindu and Muslim hoodlums. Joining her is Jaz—nominally a Muslim, but whose true religion has always been sex with other men. Danger lurks around every corner, but so does the incongruous and the absurd: the patron goddess Devi ma has even materialized on a beach to save her city from harm. Sarita's search leads her to this beach, thrusting her into a trinity so mercurial, so consuming, that it will alter her life more fundamentally than any apocalypse to come.

Fearlessly provocative, wickedly comedic, and propelled with rocket-fuel energy, The City of Devi exuberantly upends assumptions of politics, religion, sex, and India's global emergence.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Suri's dynamic, unabashed voice leaves one for the most part happily, perpetually off-balance and, though the tone is too unbound at times—especially toward the rather crazed ending—the vibrancy and compelling plot carry through the occasional sag or inconsistency." - Publishers Weekly

"The melodrama of romantic intrigue is this novel's driving force." - Kirkus Reviews

"The City of Devi combines, in a magician's feat, the thrill of Bollywood with the pull of a thriller. Set in a city at the brink of the end, this is a fiercely imagined story of three souls haunted by a love that will change their most elemental ideas of identity. Manil Suri's bravest and most passionate book." - Kiran Desai

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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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