Banker by day, and denizen of Los Angeles' clubs by night, the protagonist of Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's first novel is navigating between more than just a day job and an active social life. In Ode to Lata, Ali has left behind a tempestuous childhood in postcolonial Kenya, the overprotective mother who raised him on a steady diet of Hindi cinema, an emotionally abusive bisexual lover, and confused memories of his father's violent death at the hands of his mistress. Now his mother's messages ramble on his answering machine when he wants no one but his one obsession, Richard to call.

Passionate and unflinchingly honest in its narrative, Ode to Lata scavenges the depths of one man's misguided search for love in a world of emotionally-void encounters and tangled memories. All the while, Alis' story is intertwined with the unraveling of his parents' own doomed relationship and the film music of Bollywood's eminent singer Lata Mangeshkar (Diva of Indian film music and the namesake of the book's title). And it is this hopelessly romantic music that scores their tormented lives and goads them to pursue love through chaos and ecstasy.

   
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Chapter 2 - Immaculate Conception
Chapter 3 - Dance of the Blind
Chapter 9 - The Gift
 

"Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's Ode to Lata is a multicultural gem that transcends all borders of race, ethnicity, and sexuality. The sharply written story of Ali unravels like a beautiful tapestry, treating the reader to exotic locales and universal longings."

-- Mark Jude Poirier, author of Goats.

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