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The Atlas of Reds and Blues

Devi Laskar

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

When a woman, known only as Mother, moves her family from Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small Southern town. Despite the intervening decades, Mother is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrants, she finds that her answer - Here - is never enough.

Mother's simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a violent and unfounded police raid on her home, she finally refuses to be complacent. As she lies bleeding from a gunshot wound, her thoughts race from childhood games with her sister and visits to cousins in India, to her time in the newsroom before having her three daughters, to the early days of her relationship with a husband who now spends more time flying business class than at home.

THE ATLAS OF REDS AND BLUES grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of colour in the workplace, and a sister, a wife, and a mother to daughters in today's America. Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, Devi S. Laskar's debut novel explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.

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Praise for The Atlas of Reds and Blues

  • Devi S. Laskar's The Atlas of Reds and Blues is as narratively beautiful as it is brutal. In prose that moves between cushioning characters' falls and ushering our understandings of characters' utopias, Laskar creates a world where the consequences of American terror never stop reverberating. I've never read a novel that does nearly as much in so few pages. Laskar has changed how we will all write about state-sanctioned terror in this nation

  • The Atlas of Reds and Blues is an unforgettable exploration of what it means to be a woman of colour in contemporary America. Laskar describes the climate of lingering racism that surrounds her narrator and family in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta with a poet's touch. A searing, powerful, and beautifully written novel

  • From the quotidian to the epic, from traumatizing invisibility to mortal danger, the cumulative effects of racism are balanced against the narrator's relentless determination to persevere - as a mother and as a human being. The Atlas of Reds and Blues provides a fiercely honest reckoning with today's cultural landscape, both its history and its future

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