Opening in late 1970s Bombay, Thayils debut novel features a visitor from New York whos entranced with the citys underworld, particularly an opium den and brothel. Yet the characters-and the author-still look for beauty. A poet, performance artist, and musician/songwriter, Thayil should write piercingly (I love it when poets write fiction), and he eschews saffron and temple bells for a more broadly cosmopolitan voice. An intriguing possibility for smart readers.
Gods and goddesses