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The Death of Vishnuby Manil Suri
Synopses & Reviews
At the opening of this masterful debut novel, Vishnu lies dying on the staircase he inhabits while his neighbors the Pathaks and the Asranis argue over who will pay for an ambulance. As the action spirals up through the floors of the apartment building we are pulled into the drama of the residents' lives: Mr. Jalal's obsessive search for higher meaning; Vinod Taneja's longing for the wife he has lost; the comic elopement of Kavita Asrani, who fancies herself the heroine of a Hindi movie. Suffused with Hindu mythology, this story of one apartment building becomes a metaphor for the social and religious divisions of contemporary India, and Vishnu's ascent of the staircase parallels the soul's progress through the various stages of existence. As Vishnu closes in on the riddle of his own mortality, we wonder whether he might not be the god Vishnu, guardian not only of the fate of the building and its occupants, but of the entire universe.
Winner of the Barnes & Noble 2001 Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction; finalist in the First Fiction category of the 2002 Book Awards. "Vibrantly alive, beautifully written, full of wonderfully rich and deeply human characters."
Now part of American film and literary lore, Tom Ripley, "a bisexual psychopath and art forger who murders without remorse when his comforts are threatened" (New York Times Book Review), was Patricia Highsmith's favorite creation. In The Boy Who Followed Ripley(1980), Highsmith explores Ripley's bizarrely paternal relationship with a troubled young runaway, whose abduction draws them into Berlin's seamy underworld. More than any other American literary character, Ripley provides "a lens to peer into the sinister machinations of human behavior" (John Freeman, Pittsburgh Gazette).
About the Author
Manil Suri's first novel, The Death of Vishnu, won the 2002 Barnes and Noble Discover Prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He lives in Maryland, where he is a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
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