Synopses & Reviews
East meets West in this romp of a novel by the author of The Snake Charmer about an Indian immigrant community in New York City whose quirky challenges are played out at a local hospital. Funny, riveting, and profound, Transplanted Man combines the hilarity of Catch-22 with the urgency of ER and the poignancy of The World According to Garp.
Sonny Seth is a brilliant but rebellious medical resident at a New York City hospital that services a community of eccentric expatriates from India. His most demanding patient and trusted confidant -- known only as the Transplanted Man -- is a deathly ill but amusingly wise high-level Indian government official whose major organs have been transplanted at least once. Trying to solve his patient's ballooning afflictions, Sonny faces demons of his own in a soul-searching journey that delves into questions about East and West, the meaning of expatriation, and life itself. Along the way, Sonny becomes involved with Gwen, a bibliophilic English nurse who seeks stability from a life driven by impulse; Dr. Ranjan, an insomniac scientist who is desperately searching for the cause of insomnia; a Bollywood superstar seeking the spotlight in politics; a psychotherapist incessantly mistaken for a New Age guru; a chef trying to invent the perfect fusion cuisine; an orderly who wants to sing in Hindi films; and an endearing homeless man who sits on a corner and becomes the neighborhood's main tourist attraction.
Transplanted Man is a novel about love, medicine, sleep, and homeland that deftly manages to examine deeply human questions that are without geographic boundaries. With a cast of wonderfully drawn characters, this delightful drama offers a new kind of passage to India and pays tribute to the rich, bustling subculture in which India and America intersect.
"...Transplanted Man is a work
of considerable intellectual and imaginative energy. It's brisk, playful and
entertaining, and there are moments of lyricism especially in descriptions of
the body's workings, passages in which the anatomical vocabulary seems not dry
and clinical but passionate, celebratory... Nigam is gifted, and this is a charming, frolicsome book that dares to
tackle complex isssues. The Washington Post
Nigams novel has a lot to say about the disconnection between dreams of India and its realities
(His) first novel, The Snake Charmer (1998), was widely hailed. Transplanted Man, broader and bolder in subplot and setting, is an even more thoroughly impressive effort. Baltimore Sun
One of Americas brightest and certainly most comic Indian writers has created a memorable story of how we are each kept alive by the bits and pieces of others, both in our sleepwalking and waking lives. Dallas Morning News
Nigam and Naipaul distill bitter truths of a fractured world
A treat right up to its ending
You dont have to read Nigams novel in conjunction with Naipauls essays, but Im glad I did. They depict a chaotic world, torn by ethnic, religious and cultural antagonisms, but they also discover the humanity that unites us, and thereby provide the kind of reassurance that perhaps only literature affords.
San Jose Mercury News
A fascinating tale
both riveting and revealing
Along the way, the novel also demolishes some stereotypes
Many episodes, including those involving Indophiles, are poignant, as individuals lurch through life seeking emotional equilibrium. India Today
Like the battered soul of the Transplanted Man who holds the novel together, Nigams tale is ultimately less symbolic than it is a living, breathing body determined to survive. Time Out New York
Using the device of a hospital as a revolving stage, Nigam introduces an enormous cast of characters. He then pulls off a daring bit of jugglery by managing to keep each one interesting
Nigams first novel, The Snake Charmer, was published to rave reviews
and was short-listed for several major literary prizes. His second novel,
Transplanted Man, may even top his first. Arizona Tribune
Sonny Seth is a medical resident at a New York hospital servicing a community of eccentric expatriates from India. Sonny's most demanding patient known as the Transplanted Man is a high-level Indian government official whose major organs have been transplanted at least once. Now deathly ill and hunted, he pulls Sonny into a soul-searching journey.
East meets West in this romp of a novel that combines the hilarity of Catch-22 with the urgency of ER and the poignancy of The World According to Garp. Sonny Seth is a brilliant but rebellious medical resident at a New York hospital that services a community of eccentric expatriates from India. His most demanding patient and trusted confidant-- known only as the Transplanted Man-- is a high-level Indian government official whose major organs have been transplanted at least once. Deathly ill but amusingly wise, he is now hunted by assassins and his sneaky nemesis, a Bollywood superstar vying for stardom in politics. Trying to solve his patient' s ballooning afflictions, Sonny faces demons of his own in a soul-searching journey that will involve a bibliophilic English nurse, a scientist desperate to discover a cure for insomnia, and a psychotherapist constantly confused for a New Age guru. With a cast of wonderfully drawn characters, Transplanted Man offers a new kind of passage to India, and pays tribute to the rich, bristling subculture where India and America intersect.
About the Author
Sanjay Nigam grew up in the United States. Selected by Utne Reader as one of ten writers who represents the changing face of fiction, he is also a physician. His first novel, The Snake Charmer, was published to critical acclaim and nominated for several literary awards.