In the near future, a young woman finds her mother’s body starfished on the kitchen floor in Queens and sets on a journey through language, archives, artificial intelligence, and TV for a way back into herself. She begins to translate an old manuscript about a group of female medical students—living through a drought and at the edge of the war—as they create a new way of existence to help the people around them. In the process, the translator’s life and the manuscript begin to become entangled.
Along the way, the arrival of a childhood friend, a stranger, and an unusual AI project will force her to question her own moral compass and sense of goodness. How involved are we in the suffering of others? What does real compassion look like? How do you make a better world?
"For all that book's prodigious skill and deft structure, readers of Half Gods will not be prepared for the uncanny brilliance of [Kumarasamy's] first novel . . . [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is] a masterpiece that more than confirms the promise of Half Gods. Kumarasamy is one of more exciting young fiction writers at work right now."—Jonathan Russell Clark, Star Tribune
"Set in a future of eye scans, carbon credits and advanced AI, [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea] nonetheless feels surprisingly like home—even as it tests the boundaries of self and story . . . A dizzying alchemy of past and present, love and truth, death and memory."—Dana Dunham, Scientific American
"Akil Kumarasamy's wild, playful, terrifying, grief-struck novel Meet Us by the Roaring Sea offers an unsettling vision of the future that rises from profound contemplation of history. A spellbinding book."—Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning
"Akil Kumarasamy is a singular talent. In her novel Meet Us By the Roaring Sea, Kumarasamy has braided together stories that are original, fresh, and breathtakingly imaginative as she reflects on the ethics of care in the age of digital capitalism. I love this book."—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings
“Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is a rare gift from one of our most brilliant writers. Akil Kumarasamy’s prose is an explosive mix of ancient wisdom laced with foreboding futurism. This deeply intelligent novel will expand your perception of history, gender, the atrocities of war and the interconnectedness of our human story.”—Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Woman of Light
"Meet Us By the Roaring Sea is a genre-bending marvel. Beginning in familial loss and transforming into a complex, often thrilling journey that follows the novel’s deep, compelling inner logic, Akil Kumarasamy’s newest novel is an exemplar of contemporary fiction while also heralding the literature of tomorrow."—John Keene, author of Counternarratives
"An ambitious, classification-defying novel that straddles the past and the future and offers deeply thoughtful commentary on the lines defining personal and collective identities . . . A compelling read that tackles some of the most urgent questions of our times."—Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist
"Dazzling . . . Kumarasamy’s gorgeous prose and quiet meditations on memory will enthrall readers. This ambitious effort has much to offer."—Publishers Weekly
Reviews from Goodreads
A mother is a slippery thing: she brings you into the world and then departs. All your mother has left for you are these rough-cut memories that both sting and shimmer when held too closely.
In one she sits next to you and asks you to be...