ISBN-10: 0449003965
ISBN-13: 9780449003961
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Publish Date: 09/01/1998
Dimensions: 8.52" L, 5.58" W, 0.70" H

Leave It to Me


Price: $19.00


Debby DiMartino: saved from death in infancy by Gray Nuns at an Indian desert outpost; adopted as a toddler by Manfred and Serena DiMartino of Schenectady, New York; coming of age an inherently exotic girl in an inherently American town, never sure if she was someone special or just a special kind of misfit. Now, at 23, she’s decided that it’s time to find out: time to track down her biological parents. She knows only the barest facts about them: her mother was a California flower child; her father, an ‘Asian national’ serving life in an Indian prison for murder. She knows that they were ‘lousy people who’d considered me lousier still and who’d left me to be sniffed at by wild dogs, like a carcass in the mangy shade.’ Her only inheritance from them is a literally haunting past (‘white-hot sky and burnt-black leaves…star bursts of yearning’), but now she wants revenge too. ‘When you inherit nothing, you are entitled to everything, ‘ Debby says as she leaves home for San Francisco, where, if she can’t find her mother, she suspects she can appropriate what she needs. Yet, once there, living the life of her newly named persona, Devi Dee (“Tenderloin prowler, all allure and strength and zero innocence’), she senses that she may have inherited more than she imagined: a legacy of shocking idea and impulse begins to reveal itself as Debby/Devi focuses her sights on the woman who may be her ‘bio-mom, ‘ or just a dangerously unprepared proxy.

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Leave it to Me combines the journalist's grasp of contemporary culture with the magic realist's appetite for myth . . .

"Leave it to Me is wittily billed as 'the Electra story . . . re-imagined for our time, ' and it's true that it's a tale of murderous female jealously between generations. But that's only the beginning. . . . Devi is a brilliant creation-hilarious, horribly knowing and even more horribly oblivious-through whom Bharati Mukherjee, with characteristic and shameless ingenuity, is laying claim to speak for an America that isn't 'other' at all."
-The New York Times Book Review

"MUKHERJEE IS FEARLESS . . . DARING AND WITTY . . . Take the wild ride with Debby DiMartino from Albany to San Francisco, from lost child to masked avenger."
-The Boston Globe

"POWERFULLY WRITTEN . . . Debby has no memory of her birth parents. All she knows is that she was born in a remote Indian village, the daughter of a hippie back-packing mother and a mysterious Eurasian father, both of whom have disappeared almost without a trace. . . . Her quest for her biological parents turns into an obsession. . . . Leave It to Me . . . shows Mukherjee at the peak of her craft. . . . Mixing the Greek myth of Electra with the Indian myth of Devi, she sends Devi/Debby careening down on the Bay Area like an elemental force of vengeance."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"STUNNING . . . An astute, ironic, and merciless insight into an aberrant version of the American dream."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dazzling . . . [A] sharp look at the 1960s' legacy of eroded idealism and scarred kids . . . Mukherjee gives Devi a hip, snappy, ironic voice to describe a world in which nature-and destiny-transcend nurture and no one feels remorse or responsibility."
-New York Daily News

"A psychedelic journey through the meaner side of San Francisco's free-loving past . . . Leave It to Me challenges us to sympathize with an angry young woman whose overwhelming sense of entitlement leads her to play judge and jury, devouring all in her quest for a new identity."

"With poignancy and wit, Mukherjee makes present-day San Francisco the setting for the age-old story of the foundling in search of her parent and herself."

-Kirkus Reviews

"A very fine writer, funny, intelligent, versatile and, on occasion, unexpectedly profound."
-The Washington Post Book World

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ISBN-10: 0449003965
ISBN-13: 9780449003961
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Publish Date: 09/01/1998
Dimensions: 8.52" L, 5.58" W, 0.70" H
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