BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar [in Booklist]

Author Devi S. Laskar knows what it’s like to have a police gun pointed at her. In 2010, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation raided her home when her professor husband was wrongly accused of misusing university funds. They confiscated her laptop, on which was stored an about-to-be-finished novel (never recovered), but Laskar channeled that terrifying experience into her electrifying debut, which opens with a Bengali American mother of three lying in her driveway, shot by Georgia police. As she “breathes in the metal essence of her own blood as it exits the hole the bullet has created,” her life does indeed flash before her eyes.

Newcomer Jeed Saddy moves in and out of Mother’s memories – her North Carolinian birth, her decades of racist mistreatment as an American of color, her truncated journalism career, her absent “hero” (white) husband, their three daughters who must face their own challenges, and her beloved rescue dog who died two years prior. Saddy’s youthful-sounding voice isn’t the ideal choice for such a grave situation, but her energy and adaptability ensure Laskar’s stunning, stinging novel is urgently heard.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, January 3, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2019


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