The City of Good Death
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About the Author
Priyanka Champaneri received her MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts numerous times. She received the 2018 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing for The City of Good Death, her first novel.
"Brimming with characters whose lives overlap and whose stories interweave, Champaneri's exquisite debut delves into the consequences of the past, and how stories that are told can become reality even when they contain barely a shred of truth. As Pramesh discovers, the bitterness of past wounds can bring hope for redemption and life."
--Bridget Thoreson, Booklist
"As Pramesh contemplates his own childhood in the village where he grew up and all the ways in which he and his twin cousin shared their early lives together, it is a beautiful combination of nostalgia and heartbreak. I found myself too thinking about these scenes and others in the weeks after I finished the book, a sign of a poignant story and one that had gotten its hooks into me."
--Lauren Woods, DCTrending
"What follows is an astounding mystery in which nothing cooperates as it should--not even the dead.... As the city stirs with gossip and intrigue, Pramesh and Shobha deal with hauntings of all kinds, their stories weaving around one another to reveal the intersection of love and grief, and perhaps even illuminating some of the mysteries of the Land of the Dead."
--The Arkansas International
"In sharp prose, Champaneri explores the power of stories--those the characters tell themselves, those told about them, and those they believe.... This epic, magical story of death teems with life."
"The City of Good Death is the debut novel of Priyanka Champaneri but it has the confidence of a master storyteller. Drawing on the rich literary traditions of Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, Champaneri's epic saga will satisfy armchair travelers thirsty for adventure, and sick of looking out their windows."
--Chicago Review of Books
"Lush prose evokes the thick, close atmosphere of Kashi and the intricate religious practices upon which life and death depend. Rumor and superstition hold sway over even the most level-headed people, twisting what's explainable into something extraordinary--with tragic consequences.... The City of Good Death is a breathtaking, unforgettable novel about how remembering the past is just as important as moving on."
--Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword Reviews, Starred Review
Champaneri's Kashi is teeming and vivid . . . the book frequently charms, and it's as full of humor, warmth, and mystery as Kashi's own marketplace.
"Champaneri's descriptive prose is precise and evocative.... The classic cliffhanger at the end of almost every chapter isn't contrived but integral to the story and its arcs. Making full use of the mysticism and magnetism of Kashi, Champaneri immerses us in a city teeming with as much life as death."
--Jenny Bhatt, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Throughout this epic, Champaneri remains attuned to such atmospheric details, both physical and emotional.... The novel pays particular attention to the topographies of mourning.... [It] remains an intimate portrait of Pramesh, and yet the other characters allow Champaneri to articulate how grief and healing are social processes.... Just as grief descends, sudden and sweeping, so too can wonder and joy."
--Spencer Quong, The New York Times Book Review