Rakesh Satyal is an American novelist, best known for his Lambda Literary Award-winning debut novel Blue Boy. Blue Boy won the 2009 Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies and Satyal was a recipient of a 2010 Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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Meet Kiran Sharma: lover of music, dance, and all things sensual; son of immigrants, social outcast, spiritual seeker. A boy who doesn’t quite understand his lot — until he realizes he’s a god…

As an only son, Kiran has obligations — to excel in his studies, to honor the deities, to find a nice Indian girl, and, above all, to make his mother and father proud — standard stuff for a boy of his background. If only Kiran had anything in common with the other Indian kids besides the color of his skin. They reject him at every turn, and his cretinous public schoolmates are no better. Cincinnati in the early 1990’s isn’t exactly a hotbed of cultural diversity, and Kiran’s not-so-well-kept secrets don’t endear him to any group. Playing with dolls; choosing ballet over basketball; taking the annual talent show way too seriously…the very things that make Kiran who he is also make him the star of his own personal freak show…

Surrounded with examples of upstanding Indian Americans — in his own home, in his temple, at the weekly parties given by his parents’ friends — Kiran nevertheless finds it impossible to get the knack of “normalcy.” And then one fateful day, a revelation: perhaps his desires aren’t too earthly, but too divine. Perhaps the solution to the mystery of his existence has been before him since birth. For Kiran Sharma, a long, strange trip is about to begin — a journey so sublime, so ridiculous, so painfully beautiful, that it can only lead to the truth…

Praise for Blue Boy

“The best fiction reminds us that humanity is much, much larger than our personal world, our own little reality.  Blue Boy shows us a world too funny and sad and sweet to be based on anything but the truth.”

—Chuck Palahniuk

“Rakesh Satyal has managed to write a novel that is as funny as it is heartbreaking.  This is the story of an Indian boy growing up gay in an American suburb — but it is also about the universality of Sissy Power.  A brilliant debut!”

—Edmund White

“Compassionate, moving, funny, and wise, Blue Boy is one of the best debut novels I have read in years.   Rakesh Satyal exuberantly captures the splendors and dramas of being twelve, giving us an unforgettable hero who will linger in the reader’s heart.  Sharp, graceful, and generous in spirit, Blue Boy reveals a young writer intelligently probing questions of family, love, and faith, while also sharing his wonderfully expansive vision of what it means to be an American.”

— David Ebershoff, author of The 19th Wife and The Danish Girl

Blue Boy is a wild, rollicking, bittersweet book.  For a debut novelist, Rakesh Satyal is uncommonly bold and precise, and his narrator — hilarious, gay, Indian, stumblingly adolescent Kiran — is unforgettable."

— Scott Heim, author of Mysterious Skin and We Disappear

Blue Boy proves that if you don’t quite fit in, then you might as
well stand out with as much wit, color, and audacity as you can muster.”

—Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of I Am Not Myself These Days

“In reading Blue Boy, I’m reminded of Rushdie’s humor and of Michael Cunningham’s deep feeling, but more than anything I’m struck by the originality of Rakesh Satyal’s vision and voice.  Kiran, the novel’s spirited and hilarious narrator, is unlike any character I’ve read — young, gay, Indian — and in his struggles to forge his identity in the face of Midwestern stereotypes and cultural intolerance, he epitomizes that rarest and most human of emotions: hope.  This is a poignant and important novel, and the start of a long and significant career.”

—Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Corpus Christi: Stories

“Rich in ethnic detail and full of fey observation, Rakesh Satyal’s charming debut will inspire anyone who’s survived elementary school to fly their freak flags high.”

—Marc Acito, author of How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater

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