Devi S.  Laskar-The Atlas of Reds and Blues

Devi S. Laskar


Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Tin House and Rattle, among other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and is an alumna of The OpEd Project and VONA. The Atlas of Reds and Blues is her first novel. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Searching for Community and Home Amid Displacement, PEN America Immigration Track

Debut novelists Devi Laskar and Tope Folarin explore the theme of displacement, and the feeling of being unmoored and isolated, while searching for supportive and accepting communities. In the process, their characters grapple with identity, fraught memories, prejudice, as they learn how to redefine what it means to be and feel at home.

Moderator: Anjali Enjeti

Anjali Enjeti is an award-winning Atlanta-based journalist and essayist who currently serves as Membership Vice President for the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in Newsday, The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Nation, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction in the MFA program at Reinhardt University, and her essay collection about identity is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press.

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The Atlas of Reds and Blues

When an unnamed narrator moves her family from the city of Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small southern town. Despite the intervening decades, the woman, known only as The Mother, is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrant parents, her truthful answer, here, is never enough. She finds herself navigating a climate of lingering racism with three daughters in tow and a husband who spends more time in business class than at home. The Mother’s simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a baseless and prejudice-driven police raid on her house, she finally refuses to be calm, complacent, polite— and is ultimately shot. As she lies bleeding on her driveway,The Mother struggles to make sense of her past and decipher her present—how did she end up here?

Devi S. Laskar has written a brilliant debut novel novel that grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace, a sister, a wife, a mother to daughters in today’s America. Drawing inspiration from the author’s own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, The Atlas of Reds and Blues explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been. BUY THIS BOOK!