Title: LEAVE IT TO ME - Scarce Pristine Copy of The...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 240 pages. Published in 1997. The author's fifth novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Bharati Mukherjee's "Leave It To Me". Her fifth novel. "Uncontrolled violence has a prominent place in Mukherjee's novel, as it does in much of her writing. The main character and narrator, Debby DiMartino, was born in India to a California flower child and a Eurasian serial killer. Having been adopted by an Italian-American family in New Jersey, Debby, now in her twenties, begins to investigate her origins. She changes her name to Devi after seeing it on a vanity license plate, but never learns that she has taken the name of a Hindu deity. Devi manifests her ancient namesake's fierce and destructive nature and also exemplifies the morally shallow, me-centered prototype of the present day. She alone survives the devastation she causes by trying to identify her biological parents. A deeply disturbing book" (Rebecca A. Stuhr). It is not an exaggeration to say that Mukherjee is the crucial "figure in the middle", that is to say, the central figure who continues and transmutes the work of the pioneering R. K. Narayan, and helps smooth the way for the present generation of young Indian writers in English like Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai. Mukherjee not only anticipates but fully embodies many of their concerns, and remains an influential force in immigrant-American literature. An absolute "must-have" title for Bharati Mukherjee collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Bharati Mukherjee. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Mukherjee made an appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Laid-in are pristine copies of the Festival's Souvenir Materials. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Many copies available online have major flaws or are remainder-marked. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1989 for "The Middleman And Other Stories". One of the finest American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER BHARATI MUKHERJEE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0679434275. Bookseller Inventory # 16889
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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