Set in present day San Francisco, LEAVE IT TO ME is a terrifying exploration of personal and national guilt and resposibility. Debby Di Martino, adopted as a child, is the almost forgotten legacy of a heedless, dangerous past. Her real mother was a California flower child who took the hippie trail to Asia, her father turns out to have been a charismatic psychopath, son of a Vietnam prostitute. 'When you inherit nothing, you are entitled to everything, ' Debby says and leaves home in upstate New york to track her mother and get her revenge on life. Reinventing herself in San Francisco as Devi Dee, she embraces the local sub-culture and discovers that she may have inherited more than she imagined-her instincts for deception, self-preservation and a legacy of shocking impulse. As Debby, Devi closes in on the woman who may be her biological mother, cultures clash and she leaves the trail of bloody mayhem in her wake.
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Indian-born author Bharati Mukherjee has long used fiction to explore issues of identity and culture, often through displaced characters--Indians coming to the West ( Jasmine) or Westerners heading to Asia ( The Holder of the World). In Leave It to MeMukherjee approaches the same issues from a fresh angle; protagonist Debby DiMartino grows up in a middle-class, Italian-American family in Schenectady, NY, yet she is "a tall girl in a small school, a beautiful girl in a plain family, an exotic girl in a very American town." Debby is adopted, abandoned as a baby by her American hippie mother and Eurasian father in India, where she was placed in a Catholic orphanage until the DiMartinos took her in. Growing up, Debby identifies herself by what she is not; at age 23, after a brief, disastrous love affair with a Hong Kong ex-movie star, she decides to find out what she is. Debby's search for her birth parents takes her to San Francisco, where she lifts a new name off a vanity license plate and begins a new life as Devi Dee. Along with her old identity, Debby/Devi sheds her old conventions, becoming a "tenderloin prowler, all allure and strength and zero innocence" as she lives out of her car in Haight Ashbury, befriends the crazy, the strung-out, and the paranoid who populate its streets, and begins her hunt for the woman who gave her life--a search that will lead Devi into an apocalyptic confrontation with a most unexpected demon. In Leave It to Me Bharati Mukherjee has created a hip, violent and darkly funny look at what it means to be an American at the end of the 20th century.About the Author:
Born in Calcutta, Bharati Mukherjee now lives and teaches in San Francisco. She is the author of seven novels, most recently The Holder of the World.
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Book Description Vintage, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99415119