The highly anticipated debut novel ‘The Immortal King Rao’ is set to be released in India on May 3, 2022

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CHENNAI: Writer-journalist Vauhini Vara’s highly anticipated debut novel about family, modernity and techno-capitalism Immortal King Rao is set to release in India and the United States on May 3, 2022.

To be published under the prestigious Fourth Estate brand, this novel blurs the lines between literary and speculative fiction and is a vast saga that unfolds across eras and continents “from the coconut plantations of southern India in the years 1950 to the globalized arena of America in the near future”, marrying Dalit history, the digital age and dystopia, PTI said in a report quoting the book publishers PR agency HarperCollins India.

Immortal King Rao, according to author’s website, is set in an Indian village in the 1950s. A precocious child is born into a family of Dalit coconut farmers. King Rao will become the world’s most accomplished tech CEO and eventually the head of a corporate-led global government.

In a future where the world is ruled by the corporations’ board of directors, King’s daughter, Athena, reckon with his inheritance – literally, because he gave her access to his memories, among other dubious gifts.

With climate change raging, Athena has come to believe that saving the planet and its shareholders will require a radical act of communion – and so she sets out to tell the truth to the world’s shareholders, in spellbinding sensory detail, about the King’s childhood on a coconut grove in southern India; his migration to the United States to study engineering in a world transformed by globalization; his marriage to the ambitious artist with whom he changed the world; and, ultimately, his invention, under self-exile, of the most ambitious creation of his life – Athena herself.

The award-winning former novel the wall street journal technology journalist, has been featured in Electrical Literature.com “62 books for women of color to read in 2022.” There, RO Kwon wrote that Vauhini Vara’s novel is “an indelible, brilliant epic about a Dalit immigrant who becomes terribly, unimaginably powerful, and what happens to his child. Immortal King Rao is something new, and that surprised me.”

The novel also featured in literary crossroads comprehensive list of the 196 most anticipated books of 2022. The Hub, citing a review, describes that “the first novel follows Athena, a young woman accused of killing her father – a tech tycoon who grew up on a Dalit plantation and became the most powerful person on earth through the strength of his corporate-led government.”

The novel was also on Alex Preston’s list (The Guardian) Fiction to watch in 2022. Preston hailed the work as “a brilliant, beautifully written book about capitalism and patriarchy, about Dalit India and digital America, about power, family and love”.

Speaking of the book, Vauhini Vara says, “In 2009, when I was studying creative writing in graduate school, I was on a train with my dad, and he was teasing me because I hadn’t started a book yet. novel.”

I said, “Give me an idea, then.”

And he said, “Write on the coconut grove.”

He was referring to the coconut grove in Andhra Pradesh where he grew up! And it became the germ of the idea that became Immortal King Rao.

“Publishing this novel in India has been a dream of mine, and learning that I could do it with Rahul Soni and the legendary Fourth Estate has been one of the greatest thrills and honors of this whole process,” she said. declared.

“Rahul Soni, Editor-in-Chief at HarperCollins India, said, ‘This is a novel that has been the talk of the town in international publishing circles ever since the manuscript was first submitted, and I am delighted that Vauhini Vara had finally decided that HarperCollins and Fourth Estate was the right home for Immortal King Rao in India”.

(With PTI inputs)

Irene B. Bowles