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South Haven is the story of young Siddharth Arora, who is floundering in a fog of solitude after his mother's tragic death in a car accident. As Siddharth and his forlorn father Mohan Lal seek temporary distraction from their sadness, unresolved feelings of grief send them down destructive paths. Mohan Lal begins to embrace the burgeoning right-wing Hindu politics of his homeland, cheering on Indian fanatics who murder innocent Muslims. In an uncanny reflection of his father's politics, Siddharth gravitates toward a group of brutish adolescent bullies who commit local acts of cruelty. InSouth Haven, grief, violence, and history collide to offer an unflinching look at the murky underside of migration and the American suburbs.
South Haven is no simple coming-of-age tale or hero's journey, blurring the line between victim and victimizer and asking readers to contend with the lies we tell ourselves as we grieve and survive. Following in the tradition of narratives by Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz, Sawhney draws upon the measured lyricism of postcolonial writers like Michael Ondaatje but brings to his subjects distinctly American irreverence and wit.
Hirsh Sawhney's writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, theGuardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial Times,Outlook, and numerous other periodicals. He is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction, and is an advisory editor atWasafiri, a London-based journal of postcolonial literature. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and teaches at Wesleyan University.