An occasional glimmer of insight lured me at the beginning: one woman reaches out to her lover's dreadlocks, and he moves away, disliking the feeling of being a novel exotic experience. She understands immediately, because she herself has known men and women who seemed interested in her but promptly asked her about the symbolism of the bindi. Unfortunately, this was one of the few bits I found interesting in the book.
Publisher's Blurb: Structurally untraditional, sometimes erotic and sometimes painfully hip, Mina's first novel is a story of romantic exhilaration and disaffection among the youthful tribes of a profoundly multicultural New York City. It's a take-me-as-I-am tale of a young, bi- and very sexual Tamil-American woman who has a particular thing for black guys with dreadlocks. Constructed with chapters that read like independent stories, the plot resists synopsis: its variously named characters gradually turn out to be mostly the same people. The heroine--alternately named Lili, Neelan or N--is enthusiastically, problematically, even obsessively concerned with love and sex. Mina gives excited and explicit attention to her characters's erotic needs and acts, exploring their fantasies and pairing them off: it's boy meets girl, girl meets guy, gay meets straight, South Asian meets East Village, East Asian meets Afro-Caribbean, Margaret Atwood meets Riot Grrl. Readers of Dale Peck's "Martin and John" might recognize distant parallels, although the skewed and kaleidoscopic framework here is more idiosyncratic. Mina has found a structure and several voices suited to the deadening, tiring and confusing use-or-be-used world she describes. As alert to heritage as she remains, Mina can come across as a queer-positive Henry Miller for the year 2000, a chronicler of the ways and means that desire and angst make themselves felt.
Book Description: Set in the streets of Greenwich Village, The Splintered Day is a novel about love, betrayal, and the cross-currents of desire. In the rain, a girl weeps against the glass wall of a bar; women crowd around the velvet ropes of a nightclub; and in the morning, a girl lies against her lover's breast.
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