Divine Elemental
A novel by Raywat Deonandan

TSAR Publications
(Toronto, 2003)
ISBN 1-894770-08-0

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According to family legend, Kalya Lal is perhaps descended from a ghost.

Raised abroad, Kalya returns to her ancestral village, and into her life arrives an odd entomologist come to study the quixotic fig wasp, native to the village’s peculiar ecosystem. His name is Iskandar Diamandi and he is obsessed with the Indian march of Alexander the Great. In the life histories of both Alexander and the wasp, Iskandar sees hidden universal truths and his own road map to Destiny. But Iskandar has a secret, one that makes Kalya’s ghost story seem banal in comparison.

This tale of romance between unlikely lovers explores the divides between science and religion, East and West, male and female, ancient and modern, and the extent to which perception defines reality.

Reviews of Raywat Deonandan's past works:

"Deonandan's prose is quirky and engaging... amusing and incisive." -The Globe and Mail

"An endless fountain of fertile imagination." -Pagitica Magazine

"[Deonandan] creates each line like a work of art." -India Currents Magazine

"Brilliant characterization and dialogue." -Canadian Author Magazine

"What works clearly in [Deonandan's] favour is the power of the imagination, a certain freshness." -Stabroek News

"[Deonandan] tells stories in such an unpretentious fashion that one is left wondering about the unbearable lightness of his craftsmanship." -The Caribbean Writer

"Deonandan is at his best when he draws from the material closest to his traditions." -University of Toronto Quarterly

"Like other writers of South Asian background such as Michael Ondaatje, Cyril Dabydeen, Sasenarine Persaud, and Zulfikar Ghose, Deonandan helps readers to understand the enormous cultural diversity of our hemisphere." -Americas Magazine

"There seems no reason why Deonandan could not join... Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, and Anita Rau Badami." -India Abroad

Chapter Titles:
1. Tomamu Nomei
2. Elemental
3. Bucephalus
4. Wasps
5. Destiny
6. Bihar
7. Whell
8. Fig Trees
9. Rotting Flesh
10. Uncertainty
11. Pursued
12. Seleucus
13. Yggdrasil
14. The Sleeping God
15. Kumar
16. Roxanne
17. Scatterings
18. Chhath
19. Taj Mahal
20. The Waking Dream
21. A Binding
22. Arak
23. Time To Flee
24. Regret
25. Coda


Chapter three, titled "Bucephalus", has been published both in IndiaWorld and India Currents, where it was a finalist for the Katha Indian-American fiction contest.


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