The Atlas of Reds and Blues
By Devi Laskar
Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, Devi S. Laskar's debut novel explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.
'It takes place in a morning; it covers a lifetime'
Booklist starred review
The Atlas of Reds and Blues opens with a woman lying bleeding on her driveway, shot by police. The woman has moved her family to the wealthy suburbs, but once there was is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrant parents, her truthful answer, here, is never enough.
The morning that opens The Atlas of Red and Blues is the morning that the woman's simmering anger breaks through. During a baseless and prejudice-driven police raid on her house, she finally refuses to be calm, complacent, polite. As she lies bleeding on her driveway, her life flashing before her eyes, she struggles to make sense of her past and decipher her present - how did she end up here?
DEVI S. LASKAR is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Tin House and Rattle, among other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and is an alumna of The OpEd Project and VONA. Laskar is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and this is her first novel. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Other details
- Publication date:
06 Jun 2019
- Page count:
devastatingly potent — Marie Claire
Laskar has written a searing and powerful novel about the second-generation immigrant experience, making clear the ways in which America terrorizes its own people. It's a violent look at a violent place, and you'll feel forever changed for having read it — Best Books to Read in 2019, Nylon
Devi S. Laskar's The Atlas of Reds and Blues is as narratively beautiful as it is brutal. In prose that moves between cushioning characters' falls and ushering our understandings of characters' utopias, Laskar creates a world where the consequences of American terror never stop reverberating. I've never read a novel that does nearly as much in so few pages. Laskar has changed how we will all write about state-sanctioned terror in this nation — Kiese Laymon, author of HEAVY
The Atlas of Reds and Blues is an unforgettable exploration of what it means to be a woman of color in contemporary America. Laskar describes the climate of lingering racism that surrounds her narrator and family in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta with a poet's touch. A searing, powerful, and beautifully written novel — Jean Kwok, author of GIRL IN TRANSLATION
From the quotidian to the epic, from traumatizing invisibility to mortal danger, the cumulative effects of racism are balanced against the narrator's relentless determination to persevere - as a mother and as a human being. The Atlas of Reds and Blues provides a fiercely honest reckoning with today's cultural landscape, both its history and its future — Elizabeth Rosner, author of SURVIVOR CAFÉ