LEAVE IT TO ME

Mukherjee, Bharati

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1997
ISBN 10: 0679434275 / ISBN 13: 9780679434276
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Stated First Edition. A fine copy in a lightly rubbed dust jacket. Inscribed, signed, and dated by the author. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Debby DeMartino, in her early 20s, adopted as a toddler, is determined to find her biological parents. Her mother was a California flower child, her father a murderer now serving life in an Asian prison. All Debby has of them is a literally haunting past, but now she wants revenge. So she heads for San Francisco, where she finds that living the life of her newly named persona, Devi Dee, she senses that she may have inherited more than she imagined.

Review: India-born author Bharati Mukherjee has long used fiction to explore issues of identity and culture, often through displaced characters--Indians coming to the West (Jasmine) or Westerners heading to Asia (The Holder of the World). In Leave It to Me Mukherjee approaches the same issues from a fresh angle; protagonist Debby DiMartino grows up in a middle-class, Italian-American family in Schenectady, NY, yet she is "a tall girl in a small school, a beautiful girl in a plain family, an exotic girl in a very American town." Debby is adopted, abandoned as a baby by her American hippie mother and Eurasian father in India, where she was placed in a Catholic orphanage until the DiMartinos took her in. Growing up, Debby identifies herself by what she is not; at age 23, after a brief, disastrous love affair with a Hong Kong ex-movie star, she decides to find out what she is.

Debby's search for her birth parents takes her to San Francisco, where she lifts a new name off a vanity license plate and begins a new life as Devi Dee. Along with her old identity, Debby/Devi sheds her old conventions, becoming a "Tenderloin prowler, all allure and strength and zero innocence" as she lives out of her car in Haight Ashbury, befriends the crazy, the strung-out, and the paranoid who populate its streets, and begins her hunt for the woman who gave her life--a search that will lead Devi into an apocalyptic confrontation with a most unexpected demon. In Leave It to Me Bharati Mukherjee has created a hip, violent, and darkly funny look at what it means to be an American at the end of the 20th century.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: LEAVE IT TO ME
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition

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