“Biting and beautiful.” — Jonny Sun, author of
Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins.
But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.
Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What if the ramifications of one petty moment online lasted the rest of your life? In her thrilling second novel, multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya (I’m Afraid of Men) explores the explosive space where social media collides with issues of gender and race. The story revolves around prolific underground musician Neela Devaki, who’s thrust into the mainstream when Insta-famous singer Rukmini covers her song. The two women’s lives become connected, but mixing work and friendship can be tricky—especially in a business that thrives on internet feuds. Shraya dials us into both her heroines’ innermost thoughts, which narrator Nisha Ahuja performs with pitch-perfect emotion, so that we can literally hear Neela’s insecurities unfurling as her career becomes a footnote in Rukmini’s. Shraya does an incredible job of lacing this captivating drama with piercing observations about racism in the music industry and how that pits these two women of colour against each other. The Subtweet is both searingly on point and heartfelt. Listening to this compelling novel made us think about the true impact of sharing our thoughts online.