Jennifer Reese
February 01, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Age of Shiva

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Manil Suri
publisher
W.W. Norton
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

As oppressive as it is impressive, Manil Suri’s psychodrama burrows into the mind of Meera Sawhney, rebellious daughter, vindictive wife, and ferociously possessive mother of an only son, Ashvin. Maternal ardor is a theme in Indian mythology, but Suri explores the topic through a 20th-century mortal. Meera is torn between her father’s liberalism, her illiterate mother’s traditionalism, her fatuous husband’s Bollywood dreams, and her own yearning for a meaningful emotional connection. While The Age of Shiva is smartly written, you may wish that Suri had cut short this extended foray into Meera’s cramped, queasy reality. B

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