Vishnu, a twenty-one-year-old Indian student out drinking in a bar in Washington D.C., is murdered in a hate crime. At the moment of his death, Vishnu takes flight and traces the sequence of events that led to his life being extinguished. Speeding through the past, present, and future, his consciousness witnesses the hate and violence on two continents. As Vishnu looks back on his short life, we see the brutal acts of his father who built an empire in the Hindi heartland of India on the blood and trampled beliefs of others so his family could lead the good life. When Vishnu gets to America, he finds that the detestation and othering that targeted one set of people in his homeland is replaced by more of the same in the country he has landed in, except this time he doesn’t belong to the class of oppressors but that of the oppressed.
Visceral and intense, this tremendous debut novel is a clear-eyed look at the barbarity that lies just beneath the surface in countries like India and America and the toll it takes on the lives of innocents.
About the Author
Karan Madhok is an Indian writer. His creative work and journalism have appeared in The Literary Review, The Bombay Review, The Caravan, Epiphany, Gargoyle Magazine, Fifty Two, Scroll, SLAM Magazine, and more. His short story ‘Public Record’ appeared in the anthology A Case of Indian Marvels. Karan is the editor and co-founder of the Indian arts and culture website The Chakkar. He is also the founder and author of the Hoopistani blog on Indian basketball. Karan has an MFA in Creative Writing from the American University in Washington D.C., where he won the 2018 Myra Skralew Award for the best MFA Thesis (prose). He is working on his first non-fiction book.