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The City of Good Death (Paperback)
Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant WritingFinalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Set in a death hostel in India's holy city of Banaras, where dying Hindus come to be released from the cycle of reincarnation, Priyanka Champaneri's transcendent debut novel The City of Good Death is an unforgettable tale of family, ghosts, rebirth, redemption, and letting go.
As the dutiful manager of a death hostel in Banaras on the banks of the Ganges, Pramesh Prasad administers to dying pilgrims who hope to be released from earthly reincarnation. In the holy city, Pramesh can nearly persuade himself that here, there is no past or future. He lives and works contentedly with his wife, Shobha, their young daughter, Rani, the hostel priests, his hapless but winning assistant Mohan, and the constant flow of families with their dying kin. But one day the past arrives in the form of a body pulled from the river--a man with an uncanny resemblance to Pramesh. Called "twins" in their childhood village, he and his cousin Sagar are inseparable until Pramesh leaves to see the outside world and Sagar stays to tend the land. After Pramesh marries Shobha, defying his family's wishes, a rift opens between the cousins that he has willed himself to forget. Yet for Shobha, Sagar's reemergence casts a shadow over the life she's built for her family. Soon, an unwelcome guest takes up residence in the death hostel, the dying mysteriously continue to live, and Pramesh is forced to confront his own ideas about death, rebirth, and redemption.
About the Author
Priyanka Champaneri received her MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts numerous times. She received the 2018 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing for The City of Good Death, her first novel.