BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri [in aMagazine: Inside Asian America]

Death of VishnuThe best of the latest crop of South Asian diaspora titles is The Death of Vishnu, a startling debut novel, the first of a planned trilogy by math professor Manil Suri.

On the staircase landing of a crowded Bombay apartment building, lies the dying Vishnu, an unreliable drunk who took care of odd jobs for the building’s many occupants. Here is a human life, literally stepped over and ignored, until his comatose body becomes another nuisance for the squabbling neighbors to further quarrel over.

Meanwhile, the respective children of two warring families plot to run off together, Romeo-and-Juliet-meet-Bollywood-style. While Vishnu dreams his final dreams of lost love and hopeful enlightenment, downstairs, a quiet, lonely widower longs for his long-dead wife, while upstairs, a discontented husband searches for the meaning of existence. Told in sparse, haunting language, Death of Vishnu will stay with you long after that last page is turned.

Review: “Bolo! Bolo! Tell Me! South Asian writers move into the literary spotlight,” aMagazine: Inside Asian America, June/July 2001

Tidbit: Who knew that Suri had a hidden Bollywood talent: click here for a sneak peek! Suri was a guest at SALTAF 2008 (South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival), a much-anticipated, highly-attended annual fall event sponsored by the Smithsonian APA Program and NetSAP-DC.

Readers: Adult

Published: 2001


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