Mother Ocean Father Nation: A Novel
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
LONGLISTED FOR THE MARK TWIN AMERICAN VOICE IN LITERATURE AWARD
“A brilliant debut novel.” —Joyce Carol Oates
A brother and sister’s paths diverge in the wake of political upheaval: one forced to leave, one left behind
On a small Pacific island, two siblings tune in to a breaking-news radio bulletin. It is 1985, and an Indian grocer has just been attacked by nativists aligned with the recent military coup. Now, fear and shock ripple through the island’s deeply rooted Indian community as racial tensions rise to the brink.
Bhumi hears this news from her locked-down dorm room in the capital city. She is the intellectual standout of the family, an aspiring botanist on the path to success. But when her connection to a government official becomes a liability, she must flee her unstable home for California.
Jaipal feels like the unnoticed sibling, always left to fend for himself. He avoids their father’s wrath as he manages the family store, distracted only by his hidden desires. Suddenly, he is presented with an opportunity—one that promises money and connection, but may leave him vulnerable to the island’s escalating volatility.
Mother Ocean Father Nation is an entrancing debut about how one family, at the mercy of a nation broken by legacies of power and oppression, forges a path to find a home once again.