So Good in Black by Sunetra Gupta

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A superbly crafted novel from award-winning Indian novelist Sunetra Gupta

After years of absence, American travel writer Max Gate returns to Bengal, to the beach home of his longtime friend, the businessman Byron Mallick. The occasion is a funeral: for Damini, fervent investigative journalist and founder of a women's shelter, with whom Max once collaborated, until ultimately she scorned the book he wrote on their work together. It is irrefutable that Byron Mallick donated not milk, but milk adulterated with chalk, to the women and children at Damini's shelter-but did he also, to save his reputation, have her killed? The weight of this question burdens each character in this intricate, superbly crafted novel-Max; his former brother-in-law Piers O'Reilly, convinced of Byron's guilt; and Damini's cousin and Byron's former ward Ela, whose affair with Max has haunted both their lives, ending his marriage and setting him unaccountably adrift. Sunetra Gupta's consummate prose recreates the ache and complication of memory, as Max considers the tantalizing ambiguities of each of their pasts, the exquisite layers of emotion and action out of which, perhaps, the truth about Byron may be revealed.


About Sunetra Gupta

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Sunetra Gupta's previous four novels have been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, shortlisted for the Crossword Award, and long listed for the Orange Prize. Sunetra was born in Calcutta and now lives in Oxford, where she is a professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford University.
Published February 17, 2009 by Women Unlimited. 292 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for So Good in Black

Publishers Weekly

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American travel writer Max Gate returns to the lavish Bengal seaside house of his old friend Byron Mallick on the eve of a funeral, in Gupta's languid rumination on love and opportunities lost, her first novel since A Sin of Color.

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of So Good in Black

The Washington Times

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He confesses that he was trying to prevent her from exposing him, but only by “pleading with her to let an old man hang on to his reputation.” This opening suggests that “So Good in Black” will be about whether or not Mallick was complicit in Damini’s death - in effect it will be a sort of detect...

Jun 17 2011 | Read Full Review of So Good in Black

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