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 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.
Part of Chapter 1
The driver slammed the brakes, whipping my head forward and back. A chorus of honks crescendoed in the muggy New Delhi night.
A few cars ahead, in the middle of an intersection, an auto rickshaw lay on its side, its three wheels still spinning, the metal poles of its sides cracked in half. Tire tracks swirled into a small blue car with its front end smashed. Glass littered the road, glittering pinpricks of light.
People surged around us. My father, Ayya, opened the door of the taxi, and we pushed our way into the crowd.
Ayya weaved to the front. I walked in his wake.
An older woman was sprawled on the ground next to the auto, thrown out as it tipped over. The auto driver was on his back near her. His eyes stared right up at the sky. Red slashes glistened over their bodies.
People shouted in Hindi to call the police, call the ambulance. The woman was still breathing. Two men tried to lift her.
Thank you, Sj Sindu and Legend Press
About the author
SJ Sindu is a genderqueer TamilAmerican author and educator, who was born in Sri Lanka and raised in
Massachusetts. Sindu’s first novel, Marriage of a Thousand Lies, won the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Debut Fiction, was selected by the American Library Association as a Stonewall Honor Book, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the VCU First Novelist Award and was Longlisted for the DSC South Asian Literature Prize. She now lives in Toronto, Canada.
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