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Indrapramit Das
The Devourers



Book Cover

"I'm a werewolf," he says. Smoke flares out of his mouth in curls that wreath his long black hair, giving him silver-blue locks for a passing second. I don't see him throw away the match, but his foot moves to rub it into the soil.

In present-day Kolkata, college professor Alok Mukherjee meets a man who claims to be a werewolf. Alone and estranged after a divorce, Alok is drawn to the stranger's hypnotic allure, unable to tell delusion from truth, trickery from magic. In a dusty caravanserai in seventeenth-century Mumtazabad, Cyrah, a young wanderer, meets a man who says he is a monster. Their encounter fills her with revulsion and dread, yet changes her forever.

Beginning in Mughal India by the foot of the Taj Mahal and culminating in the lush, dangerous forests of the Sunderbans in twenty first century India, The Devourers is a story about shapeshifters, men with second selves who prey on humans. But it is also about what it means to be human and of the transformative powers of love. Utterly gripping and wholly original, it reinvents the modern fantasy novel for India, imbuing it with depth, emotion and richness.


Praise for Indra Das' The Devourers:

Winner, Lambda Literary Award for Best SF/F/Horror (2017)
Shortlisted, Crawford Award (2016)
Selection, Locus Recommended Reading (2015)
Shortlisted, Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize (2015)
Shortlisted, Tata Literature Live First Book Award (2015)

“[A] chilling, gorgeous saga that spans several centuries and many lands . . . The all-too-human characters—including the nonhuman ones—and the dreamlike, recursive plot serve to entrance the reader . . .[T]here’s no escaping The Devourers. Readers will savor every bite.”
—N.K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review

“A sensual tale of violence and desire . . . for fans of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire but with a fascinating setting beautifully described.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Das’s brutal, intoxicating, and gorgeously visceral debut merges an often mythic sensibility with an appreciation for the coarse beauty of the everyday . . .[He] creates a feeling of urgency amid a sense of timelessness and feeds a fascination with the alien that is enhanced by dives into terrifying intimacy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“It is difficult to review The Devourers simply because there are no easy words to describe the novel’s impact…Perhaps this is what makes Das’s novel so refreshing — The Devourers refuses to subscribe to easy sentimental plots or moral tales...[I]t viscerally and genuinely affects the reader.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Indra] Das’ narrative is lush, imaginative, and hypnotic, bringing to life scenes of savagery and moments of wonder . . . Das’ debut is an ambitious, unsettling trip into our own capacity for violence.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[T]akes the legends of old to make something new.” —Toronto Star

"[Das] has redefined the modern Indian fantasy novel." —Vogue India

“Das’ fantasy debut uses lyrical language to explore the interactions of two lonely souls searching for meaning and purpose . . . Readers who enjoy legends and mythology will be drawn to this twist on the werewolf story.” —Booklist

“[A] striking first novel . . . Das is a compelling writer, combining mythologies from several cultures with a rare ease . . . If you’re bored with the usual ingredients of commercial fantasy, here’s one about as different from the formula as you’re likely to get.” —Asimov’s 

“Groundbreaking modern fantasy . . . The Devourers is a seductive and sensual novel on many levels . . . [with] precise prose that alternately transports and terrifies. Despite its more gruesome bits, it’s about the loveliest werewolf novel I’ve ever read—but maybe it’s the first to really try for that distinction.” —Locus Magazine

“This is one of those dreamy, gorgeous novels that pulls you into the story with the promise of an immersive fantasy, but it leaves you questioning your own reality. Violent, erotic, and unsparing, The Devourers will make you forget about True Blood and Twilight and reawaken you to the true power of monster stories.” —Ars Technica

“Every now and again you read something that strikes the heart of you. Not, perhaps, in a romantic way, but in a manner that challenges your perception of reality. Indra Das’ powerful debut novel, The Devourers, cuts deeper than it should. Dreamlike but haunting, beautiful but violent, Indra’s prose is lush, but more importantly, it is savage. It grips the reader and drags you on an unexpected journey through both contemporary and Mughal India. Its plot brims with intrigue, danger, and monsters, but its hidden depths are what stuck with me. It has something to say. Not just something to say about its characters or its themes, but the primal nature of humanity.”
—Pierce Brown, author of the bestselling Red Rising

“[E]xtraordinary piece of meta-fiction: stories within stories; an intense physicality, compellingly written, that particularly wallows in scent; and, underneath the reeking gore, twin meditations on the futility of human yearning and the inherent injustice of power structures, both colonial and gender. . . . trans-genre, transgender and transgressive . . . Who gets what he or she wants and, above all, who has the moral right to their desires, is the heart of this remarkable, multi-layered novel.” —Maclean’s

The Devourers is beautiful. It is brutal. It is violent and vicious . . . [It] also showcases Das’ incredible prowess with language and rhythm, and his ability to weave folklore and ancient legend with modern day loneliness.” —Tor.com

“[T]he author's language is feral and cruelly precise; it tears at the flesh of the fantasy genre, strips it of its skin and uncovers the fierce, shadowy pulsing that lies concealed. . . . His prose relentlessly pulsates with life; it is stark and achingly lovely.” —The Telegraph India

“From its intriguing opening scene to its breathtaking final monologue, The Devourers sank its teeth into my heart and my mind. What a rich, engaging, thought-provoking reading experience. This is not a book to be devoured, but savored.” —Sunil Patel, Lightspeed Magazine

“The language is beautiful . . . at every instant alive.” —Open Magazine 

"Astonishing . . . A narrative that takes possession of you and pulls you along in its wake." —M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts and DC/Vertigo Comics' Lucifer

“Profoundly moving and endlessly inventive, The Devourers transforms the very language it’s written in. Indra Das has forged a new path for modern literary fantasy.” —Ken Liu, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Grace of Kings

“A hallucination disguised as a novel. One moment its vision spans centuries and a thousand lives; the next you’re transfixed by the sound of an insect in flight, or a jewel of blood dripping from an open wound. Sorrow and compassion and bone-crunching violence coexist in equal measure here. The Devourers is sheer poetry, with its guts hanging out.” —Peter Watts, author of Blindsight 

“Lush, visceral, and queer to the core, The Devourers is like nothing else I’ve read. Postmodern and historical, massive in scale and heartbreakingly intimate, fragmented and a powerful whole . . . it is so many marvelous things, all at once.” —Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award nominee Carmen Machado

“Lush, dark, deep, and truly extraordinary, The Devourers is a transformative and spellbinding story like no other.” —Lila Bowen, Romance Times Award–winning author of Wake of Vultures

“[A] provocative debut novel . . . Das’ ferociously exact prose pierces through the skin of the fantasy novel to reveal the savage heart of darkness that beats underneath.” —Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle

"This is an intense and thrilling novel spanning centuries of Indian life, injecting into that immense history a kind of under-story or inner story that casts a new light on everything we thought we knew. Indra Das’s writing is powerful and precise, it grabs you and propels you along quite vividly. I’ll be looking forward to reading more by him.” —Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt

"[A] great shot in the arm for the Indian literary fantasy genre . . . The Devourers is wildly original and enormously riveting." —The Daily Pioneer

"Surprisingly, there aren’t many contemporary or Indian titles that can serve as a yardstick for Das’ speculative fiction. His first book seems to inhabit a genre all by its novel self. It couldn’t have been easy to do, but the author has adeptly transported the werewolf from London and Paris of the 20th century to present-day Kolkata. The effect is curiously unsettling." —The Hindu Business Line

“It’s clear that Das has what it takes to be a consistently good storyteller.” —Live Mint

“One of the most satisfying fantasies to come out of India—or anywhere—in the last 10 years.” —Nilanjana S. Roy, author of The Wildlings and The Hundred Names of Darkness

“Every sentence of this ferocious and extraordinary book pulses with life. An absolute masterpiece.” —Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba series


Category/Genre: Fiction—Dark Fantasy
Length: 320 pages (hc)
Publication Date: July 2016 (North America)

 

North American English rights, Del Rey
India English rights, Penguin India
Digital India English rights, Juggernaut Books
North America English Audio rights, Random House Listening Library

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

Author Name

Indrapramit Das (a.k.a. Indra Das) is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications including Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com, and has also been widely anthologized. He is an Octavia E. Butler scholar and a grateful graduate of Clarion West 2012. He completed his M.F.A. at the University of British Columbia (class of ’11) in Vancouver, where he wore many hats, including dog hotel night shift attendant, TV background performer, minor film critic, occasional illustrator, environmental news writer, pretend-patient for med school students, and video game tester. He never wore any actual hats, except a toque during winter. He divides his time between India and Canada, immigration-willing.

Indra has written about books, comics, TV and film for publications including Slant Magazine, Vogue India, Strange Horizons and Vancouver Weekly.

The Devourers is Indra's debut novel.