"Night Theater" w/ Vikram Paralkar
VIKRAM PARALKAR, Author of Night Theater
In Conversation w/
NATHANIEL POPKIN, Author of The Year of the Return
"Haunting and irresistible. I cannot wait for you to read this book." —Wayétu Moore, author of She Would Be King
A surgeon must bring a dead family back to life in this fabulist debut novel set in rural India, which examines power, corruption, and ethics. A surgeon flees a scandal in the city and accepts a job at a village clinic. He buys antibiotics out of pocket, squashes roaches, and chafes at the interventions of the corrupt officer who oversees his work. But his outlook on life changes one night when a teacher, his pregnant wife, and their young son appear. Killed in a violent robbery, they tell the surgeon that they have been offered a second chance at living if the surgeon can mend their wounds before sunrise. So begins a night of quiet work, “as if the crickets had been bribed,” during which the surgeon realizes his future is tied more closely to that of the dead family than he could have imagined. By dawn, he and his assistant have gained knowledge no mortal should have.
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by Time Magazine, Buzzfeed, SYFY, and LitHub, NIGHT THEATER is an existential fable set in a dilapidated clinic in rural India, where a cantankerous surgeon is straddled one night with an impossible task - to operate on the dead so they can return to life at dawn. Encompassing social criticism and magically unreal drama, NIGHT THEATER is a powerful tale as satisfying for its moral inquiry as for its portrayal of a disillusioned physician who arrives at a greater understanding of life’s miracles.
Vikram Paralkar was born and raised in Mumbai, and is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, where he treats patients with leukemia and researches the disease. His writing blends medicine and metaphysics, and he is the author of two works of fiction: Night Theater (Catapult, 2020), and The Afflictions (Lanternfish Press, 2014). His works have been translated into several languages.
In his work as a writer and editor of fiction, nonfiction, film, criticism, and journalism, NATHANIEL POPKIN explores memory and loss: urban and historical change, architectural palimpsests, ecological grief, and the struggle for the democratic ideal. Popkin is the author of six books, including the new novel The Year of The Return, and is co-editor of the anthology Who Will Speak for America?