The Age of Shiva

As oppressive as it is impressive, Manil Suri’s psychodrama burrows into the mind of Meera Sawhney, rebellious daughter, vindictive wife, and ferociously possessive mother of an only son, Ashvin. Maternal ardor is a theme in Indian mythology, but Suri explores the topic through a 20th-century mortal. Meera is torn between her father’s liberalism, her illiterate mother’s traditionalism, her fatuous husband’s Bollywood dreams, and her own yearning for a meaningful emotional connection. While The Age of Shiva is smartly written, you may wish that Suri had cut short this extended foray into Meera’s cramped, queasy reality. B

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