"The writing is sharp, beautiful, very evocative. The characters pop off the page and are instantly recognizable. Noomi is so achingly human and alive. I love the subtlety of Patel's hand in the way she depicts Noomi and her world in Mirror Made of Rain. Everything feels so lush and gorgeous as the story at the heart of the novel emerges and eventually coheres to devastating effect." --Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life and Filthy Animals
Despite an embarrassing, alcoholic mother, Noomi Wadia is loathe to change her own hard-partying ways simply because it's what's expected in Kamalpur high society. As her peers begin to marry and her social obligations become more fraught, she finds herself under constant scrutiny at summer parties of the city's upper crust.
With her options in her hometown growing increasingly limited, Noomi leaves for Mumbai and quickly becomes a successful journalist. There she falls in love with Veer, who appreciates her for exactly who she is. When Noomi and Veer decide to marry, Noomi must observe a host of patriarchal wedding rituals at the behest of her new in-laws, whose cultural customs deviate from her own. Soon, Noomi realizes that her worst fears have come to pass--she is trapped in the same cycle of self-destructiveness as her mother, and she must battle her impulses or risk losing it all.
A riveting exploration of class and tradition in contemporary India, Noomi is as quick-witted as she is quick-tempered. At times funny and tragic, taking place over many years of Noomi's life, Naheed Phiroze Patel's exhilarating debut novel shows how society encourages us to see ourselves through the eyes of others.
Naheed Phiroze Patel is a graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University's School of the Arts, where she received fellowship awards for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years. Her writing has appeared in the New England Review, The Guardian, HuffPost, Scroll.in, BOMB Magazine, PEN America blog, EuropeNow Journal, Quarterly Conversation, Asymptote Journal and Sou'wester Journal. She received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train's 2016 July/August Fiction Open, and was a 2015 general contributor in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
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