Chennai: Writer and journalist Vauhini Vara’s eagerly awaited novel about family, modernity and tech capitalism Immortal King Rao It is scheduled to be released in India and the United States on May 3, 2022.
Published under the prestigious Forth Estate imprint, this novel blurs the boundaries between literary fiction and speculative and is a sprawling epic set across times and continents “from the coconut plantations of South India in the 1950s to the arena of soon-to-be globalized America. The future,” the marriage of history Dalits, the digital age and dystopia, PTI He said in a report citing the PR agency for book publishers HarperCollins India.
Immortal King Raoaccording to Author’s website, in an Indian village in the fifties of the last century. A precocious child is born into a family of Dalit coconut farmers. King Rao will grow into the world’s most accomplished technology CEO, and eventually the leader of a corporate-led global government.
In a future in which the world is run by a corporate board, King’s daughter, Athena, reckons with his legacy — literally, because he gave her access to his memories, among other questionable gifts.
With climate change raging, Athena came to believe that saving the planet and its shareholders would require radical action from the company—and so she set out to tell the world’s shareholders the truth, in sensual detail, about King’s childhood on coconut plantations in South India; his emigration to the United States to study engineering in a world changed by globalization; His marriage to the aspiring artist who changed the world with him. And ultimately, his invention, in self-exile, of the most ambitious creations of his life – Athena herself.
A novel by the previous award winner The Wall Street Journal Technology reporter, has appeared in electrical literature 62 books written by women of color to read in 2022. There, Ro Kwon wrote that Vauhini Vara’s novel is “indelible, a wonderful saga about a Dalit immigrant who becomes terribly strong, with unimaginable strength, and about what happens to his child. Immortal King Rao is something new, and it struck me.”
The novel also appeared in Literary axis Comprehensive list of 196 books expected for 2022. The hub describes, citing a review, that “the first novel follows Athena, a young woman accused of killing her father – a tech tycoon who grew up on a Dalit farm and became the most powerful person on Earth through the power of his corporate-led government “.
The novel was also on Alex Preston’s list (The Guardian) A novel worth searching for in 2022. Preston praised the work as “a wonderful and beautifully written book about capitalism and patriarchy, about Dalit India and digital America, and about power, family and love.”
Speaking of the book, Vauhini Vara says, “In 2009, when I was studying creative writing in graduate school, I was on a train with my dad, and he was teasing me because he hadn’t started a novel yet.”
Then I said, give me an idea.
And he said, “Write about the coconut grove.”
He was referring to the coconut grove in Andhra Pradesh where he grew up! And that became the seedling of the idea that became Immortal King Rao.
“Having published this novel in India was my dream and knowing I would do it with Rahul Soni and the legendary Fourth Estate was one of the greatest excitement and honor in the whole process,” she said.
Rahul Soni, Executive Editor at HarperCollins India says, “This is a novel that has been the talk of publishing circles internationally since the manuscript was first sent, and I am pleased that Vauhini Vara has finally decided that HarperCollins and 4th Estate is the right home for Immortal King Rao in India”.
(with PTI input)