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Release date: November 2, 2021
"The richness of this story will take hold of you and never let go.” - Roxane Gay
Traveling from the ashrams of India to the underground rock scene of New York City, Blue-Skinned Gods explores ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, and examines the need for belief in a fractured world.
In Tamil Nadu, India, a boy is born with blue skin. His father sets up an ashram, and the family makes a living off of the pilgrims who seek the child's blessings and miracles, believing young Kalki to be the tenth human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Kalki is confronted with three trials in his tenth year—tests of his power that will prove his divine status and, his father tells him, spread his fame worldwide. Over the next decade, as the story of his family unravels, his relationship to everyone—his dominating father, his beloved cousin, his cancer-stricken aunt, and the young woman he imagines he will marry—threatens to fall apart. At once a personal tale of youthful searching, and a magisterial, continent spanning tour-de-force, Blue-Skinned Gods is unwaveringly honest and heartbreaking, a powerful novel told through the eyes of a wonderfully winning and idiosyncratic protagonist.
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Praise for Blue-Skinned Gods
“SJ Sindu has written another brilliant novel in Blue-Skinned Gods. This time, she tells the story of a boy with blue skin who is trying to be the god everyone tells him he is. This is consummate storytelling and Kalki Sami, the boy and man and would-be-god at the center of this novel, is beautifully written. As he tries to make sense of a world that has been carefully constructed around him, he begins to reach for the man he might become. His journey is both heartbreaking and exhilarating. Here is a novel about the bonds between brothers, a deceptive tyrant and son, a mother who doesn’t know how to save herself or her child, a boy and how he yearns for his young loves, and so much more. The richness of this story will take hold of you and never let go.” - Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist
“Blue-Skinned Gods is a memorable and vivid coming-of-age story that feels timely in its pursuit of exploring the meaning of truth and how we know what to believe about ourselves and others. Kalki’s journey from an isolated ashram in India to the kaleidoscope of New York City's clubs and streets is captivating. This is a wonderful book about family, friendship, and miracles.” - Elise Hooper, author of Fast Girls, Learning to See, and The Other Alcott
“This marvelous novel offers up the most extraordinary circumstance in which to live a life. It delivers everything I didn’t know I desperately wanted: snake bites, ink baths, god-energy, gurus, post-punk music, viral videos, redemption, and an unforgettable character asking all the big questions. What am I and what am I capable of? In the asking comes revelations on the nature of love, power in friendship, weight of dogma, and the visceral seeping together of diverse cultures. These pages left me with the best case of culture shock, and in awe over Sindu’s storytelling talent.” - Devin Murphy, national bestselling author of The Boat Runner and Tiny Americans