This week’s guest is SJ Sindu, whose second novel BLUE SKINNED GODS takes on religion and identity in a bold new way. The novel follows Kalki, raised as the tenth avatar of Vishnu due to his blue skin, and explores coming to terms with trauma and self-concept as he grows into adulthood. We travel from an ashram in Tamil Nadu to the rock scene of New York City and observe with bated breath as Kalki comes to terms with his fraught familial relationships and the conflict of his divinity. Sindu’s work is accessible to a broad audience yet specific in its references to Hindu mythology and beliefs, and the result is a satisfying, page-turning read.
Sindu cites Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST as an all-time favorite book. This novel excels from a prose level, with its hallmark winding sentences and many commas. But beyond pure sentence structure, the novel is a detailed and tender character study, depicting the ebbs and flows in the relationship of its central characters. The magical realism elements of transformative doors adds not whimsy, but a dreamlike quality that only highlights the realities of immigration and finding home away from home.
Sindu also shares their thoughts on everything from bespoke gift wrapping to the purpose of chapbooks, and so much more. And this one's spoiler free!
Books we talk about: This Land is Our Land by Suketu Mehta, The Boat People by Sharon Bala, Stone Fruit by Lee Lai, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Sindu's website: https://sjsindu.com/
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