The result is an honest portrait of a scientist as a young man—and what it took to survive and thrive when “Blood painted its grotesque marks on streets, communities and lives of many families because of religious differences.” Despite the ups and downs of his personal odyssey, Sen spends a considerable amount of time thinking about the fate of his people in India as well as others who suffered unnecessary and unimaginable cruelties. His time in Europe and his first stateside landlord’s stories of the segregated south, the Great Depression, and World War II, further deepens Sen’s sense of humanity.
Those experiences deepen Sen’s sense of humanity, so much so that he endeavors to write stories of the oppression faced by Black Americans. In the novel’s romantic episodes, narrated by the characters with “with admiration, fascination and amorous lust,” the conversation tends toward the poetic but also the curiously clinical. Still, as he faces atrocity and the loneliness of starting anew, Sen’s empathy and compassion shine through, forged in tragedy.
Takeaway: Touching novel of Partition, immigration, and thriving in a world of violence.
Comparable Titles: Anjali Enjeti’s The Parted Earth, Rakesh Satyal’s No One Can Pronounce My Name.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-