Manil Suri, Profesor of Mathematics and Statistics, UMBC, and Best-Selling Author
Wednesday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Award-winning novelist Manil Suri will present the inaugural reading from The City of Devi, a dazzling, multilayered novel that not only encompasses a searing love story but, with its epic reach from quarks to mythology to geopolitics, also encapsulates the fate of the entire world.
Suri will discuss the cultural, religious, and geopolitical issues touched upon in his new book, particularly in the context of India’s future.
About The City of Devi:
As Mumbai empties under the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation, Sarita, a thirty-three-year-old statistician, can only think of one thing: being reunited with Karun, her physicist husband. Why has he vanished? Who is he running from? How will they form the family of three he’s always wanted? To find him, Sarita must journey across the surreal landscape of a near-abandoned city, braving gangs of competing Hindu and Muslim hoodlums. Joining her is Jaz—nominally a Muslim, but whose true religion has always been sex with other men. Danger lurks around every corner, but so does the incongruous and the absurd: the patron goddess Devi ma has even materialized on a beach to save her city from harm. Sarita’s search leads her to this beach, thrusting her into a trinity so mercurial, so consuming, that it will alter her life more fundamentally than any apocalypse to come. Fearlessly provocative, wickedly comedic, and propelled with rocket-fuel energy, The City of Devi exuberantly upends assumptions of politics, religion, sex, and India’s global emergence.
Manil Suri was born in Bombay and is a professor of mathematics and affiliate professor of Asian studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of the novels The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva, and The City of Devi. His fiction has won several awards and honors and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He was named by Time Magazine as a “Person to Watch” in 2000. He is a citizen of both the United States and India.
In addition to his writing, he is involved in several mathematics outreach projects. His research is in the area of finite element methods for partial differential equations.