The Age of Shiva

Manil Suri, Author . Norton $24.95 (455p) ISBN 978-0-393-06569-5

The second novel from Suri (The Death of Vishnu) follows Meera Sawhney from her unhappy 1950s marriage to aspiring singer Dev Arora through to her own son’s coming-of-age. After an impulsive act forces Meera’s marriage at 17, her complex, controlling father decries her tying herself (and, by extension, her family) to the provincial, lower-class Aroras. Meera soon finds herself pulled in different directions by her in-laws’ religious orthodoxy, her father’s progressivism (which doesn’t run deep), her husband’s self-pitying alcoholism and her own resentment. She finds salvation in the birth of a son, Ashvin; mother love, which Suri describes in intensely physical terms, gives her life passion and purpose, and overwhelms her adult relationships. But as India modernizes, Meera senses that Ashvin, and she herself, must live their own lives. Suri renders Meera’s perspective marvelously, especially in small particulars (such as Meera’s deliberations around the cutting of Ashvin’s hair) and in the perils and conflicts Meera faces in her relationships with men. He also takes a close look at Hindu practices and charts the rise of religious nationalism in the years following Gandhi’s death. Suri’s vivid portrait of a woman in post-independence India engages timeless themes of self-determination. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Show other formats
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-7475-9211-2
Audio Product - 1 pages - 978-1-4356-7950-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0621-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3621-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5621-4
Paperback - 463 pages - 978-0-393-33363-3
Hardcover - 453 pages - 978-0-7475-9179-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4001-2621-7
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-393-06782-8
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-393-06783-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61545-784-7
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4088-0678-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.