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The Atlas of Reds and Blues
The Atlas of Reds and Blues | Devi S. Laskar
12 posts | 10 read | 43 to read
An arresting debut novel which bears witness to American racism and abuse of power, tracing one woman's shift from acquiescence to resistance. When an unnamed narrator moves her family from the city of Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small southern town. Despite the intervening decades, the woman, known only as The Mother, 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. She finds herself navigating a climate of lingering racism with three daughters in tow and a husband who spends more time in business class than at home. The Mother's simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a baseless and prejudice-driven police raid on her house, she finally refuses to be calm, complacent, polite--and is ultimately shot. As she lies bleeding on her driveway, The Mother struggles to make sense of her past and decipher her present--how did she end up here? Devi S. Laskar has written a brilliant debut novel novel that grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace, a sister, a wife, a mother to daughters in today's America. Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, The Atlas of Reds and Blues explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.
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Reggie
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Pickpick

@Jas16 Thank you so much for the books and this lovely postcard! I loved this book. An unnamed Indian woman is shot in her driveway. The book is her thinking about her life as she bleeds out. It is nonlinear. She is a woman who simply just wants to “be” while living in a world all too eager to inform her who she should be based on her gender and the color of her dark skin. I thought the writing was lovely. I ached for her and her children. Pick!!

AmyG @Jas16 is the sweetest! 21h
Jas16 Glad it arrived safely and so happy that you enjoyed it. 20h
85 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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BookNAround
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My college kids are home so I can start my book while my daughter makes our favorite kale salad for dinner. 😁

Tamra Lucky you! 1w
90 likes1 comment
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Jas16
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Mehso-so

A Bengali- American woman has been shot during a police raid and as she bleeds in her driveway she reflects on the events that she feels may have brought her to this moment. Some of the daily racism she and her daughters are subjected to in their Atlanta suburb really rang true to me but overall I felt removed from Mother. There is a lack of emotion in the telling of what she has endured and little time is spent on the raid or her inner thoughts.

Jas16 @Reggie I will happily send you my ARC of the book if you would like. 1w
54 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Redwritinghood
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Panpan

Did not enjoy this one. The writing was really uninspired and a confusing jumble of issues and events without any coherent story. This book starts when the narrator has been shot during a police raid. She then recounts all the awful things she‘s experienced as a WOC in the south, where the people are apparently uniformly horrible. Things jump around in time and place, and different names are used for the same character. Just confusing. #hoopla

Kalalalatja The cover is pretty, tho 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
readordierachel Oh shoot, I bought this as a kindle deal... 1mo
Redwritinghood @readordierachel I listened on audiobook. Maybe it‘ll be better as an ebook? 🤞🏻🤞🏻 1mo
78 likes1 stack add3 comments
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TheNerdyProfessor
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New book haul 😍
Included:
📖 The Atlas of Reds and Blues
📚 Let Me Explain You
🔖 The Incomplete Book of Running
📖 Splitsville
📚 A Novel Bookstore
🔖Where Reasons End
📖 Tragedy + Time

SW-T Love your Sansevieria trifasciata! My snake plant is a transplant from one my mom had and at over 20 years old it‘s almost as tall as I am! Nice selection of books. Happy reading 😊 2mo
TheNerdyProfessor @SW-T my mother gave this to me. I didn't know the official name. She called it a mother's tongue plant! 2mo
SW-T It‘s got many names. Snake plant, mother-in-law‘s tongue, vipers bowstring...all sharp and pointy things. It‘s a gorgeous plant though. May yours grow well for you over the years 😊 2mo
73 likes3 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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Pickpick

Wow. This short novel packs a gut punch. An American woman with Indian heritage moves to the suburbs of Atlanta and she find her kids are treated terribly and her husband (who is white and travels often) ... well, you need to just read this one.

whatshesreadingnow Beautiful cover! 2mo
109 likes9 stack adds1 comment
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merelybookish
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Pickpick

This is a novel about racism (and sexism) in the US. Mother, an Indian American woman is sprawled on the driveway of her suburban Atlanta home surrounded by armed police. (An event based on the author's real-life experience.) In her terror and rage, she flips around in her past, trying to make sense, recalling the prejudice she experienced in school, on the job, at the grocery store and drycleaners, memories that pierce and bruise 👇

merelybookish The narrative is fractured as her life is presented in disordered, short shards. Piecing them creates an atlas of pain and hurt. I can't say I enjoyed this book but it is worth reading. The writing is specific and strong. Women of color in the US face relentless, demeaning and threatening prejudice. This book gives a small, visceral taste of what that is like. 2mo
Cathythoughts Excellent review 👍🏻 2mo
Leftcoastzen Wow ,what a great review! 2mo
Theaelizabet @merelybookish Great review. This is the first I‘ve heard of this. 2mo
Centique You describe this so beautifully! 2mo
89 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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merelybookish
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I went to the library today to drop off books. I wasn't planning to check any out, but then I spotted this on the new release shelf. Couldn't resist! The reviews I've read are glowing.

hjreviews I almost picked this one up at the bookstore the other day! Excited to see what you think of it 3mo
batsy I'm so curious about this one! Look forward to your thoughts. 2mo
readordierachel This sounds great! 2mo
Nute I‘m excited about this book as well based off of Booktube ARC reviews. Can‘t wait for your thoughts. 2mo
83 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Bookalong
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Pickpick

Laskar has crafted a beautiful novel. Written in the most lovely poetic prose she covers heavy subject matter, Racism, Stereotypes, Misogyny, Bullying and Police Brutality. This book is an emotional rollercoaster! As you watch a mother try so hard to raise her daughters and to be proud of who they are while they face unjustified harassment and bullying. It is completely heartbreaking but undoubtedly worth reading.
#bookreview #booklover

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WhatDeeReads
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Pickpick

Oh my God. This book. Was written especially for me. Read it all today, the day it was released.

The main character has been shot by police and lays bleeding in her driveway. She thinks back over her life and what may or may not have held her to this moment.

A beautifully written examination of how a lifetime of discrimination and humiliation can pile up and weigh on the heart and mind.

Run, don‘t walk.

kgriffith Oh dang, that sounds intense. 3mo
WhatDeeReads @kgriffith it is, very. 3mo
Nute You make me wanna run to the bookstore NOW! 2mo
WhatDeeReads @Nute You should! 2mo
46 likes10 stack adds4 comments
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WhatDeeReads
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I really want to stay home and read today.

Had it on pre-hold (pre-order but for library) and was first to get it when it released at midnight.

MicheleinPhilly I had not heard of this but it sounds incredible. And it‘s available on Hoopla! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 3mo
WhatDeeReads @MicheleinPhilly it was on electric lit‘s list of 2019 by women and enbys to look out for. As soon as I read the description, I thought, “this is my book.” I‘m a quarter through it now. It‘s still my book. Pretty sure it‘s making my top 10 of 2019. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly 😮Moving it up the list! 3mo
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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simpledutchgirl
Pickpick

From beginning to end a well told tragic story; capturing emotions and actions as results of small mindedness and fear. Beautifully told.