With the warning of a bomb to be detonated and imminent nuclear annihilation, many are attempting to flee Mumbai in Manil Suri’s The City of Devi. Sarita and Jaz, however, are not fleeing, but looking for a man they both know intimately—Sarita’s husband, Karun. Although Jaz knows exactly who Sarita is, Sarita doesn’t discover who Jaz truly is until they are well on their journey. Suri tackles a number of issues in The City of Devi, foremost among them religion and sexuality, and handles them excellently. The shifting between Sarita’s narration and Jaz’s gives a nice perspective on who Karun is and why both of his lovers feel a need to find him. It is not until the fast-paced ending that things are thrown off-balance by an unexpected dark turn.
Review copy provided by the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company.