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Keya Das's Second ACT

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A "painfully beautiful" (Booklist), heartwarming, and charmingly funny debut novel about how a discovered box in the attic leads one Bengali American family down a path toward understanding the importance of family, even when splintered.

Shantanu Das is living in the shadows of his past. In his fifties, he finds himself isolated from his traditional Bengali community after a devastating divorce from his wife, Chaitali; he hasn't spoken to his older daughter, Mitali, in months. Years before, when his younger daughter, Keya, came out as gay, no one in the Das family could find the words they needed. As each worked up the courage to say sorry, fate intervened: Keya was killed in a car crash.

So, when Shantanu finds an unfinished play Keya and her girlfriend had been writing, Mitali approaches the family with a wild idea: What if they were to put it on? It would be a way to honor Keya and finally apologize. Here, it seems, are the words that have escaped them over and over again.

Set in the vibrant world of Bengalis in the New Jersey suburbs, this "delightful" (Diksha Basu, author of The Windfall) debut novel is both poignant and, at times, a surprisingly hilarious testament to the unexpected ways we build family and find love, old and new.

ISBN-13: 9781982185480

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 07-18-2023

Pages: 288

Product Dimensions: 8.38h x 5.50w x 0.72d

Sopan Deb is a writer for The New York Times, where his topics have included sports and culture. He is also the author of the memoir Missed Translations: Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me. Before joining the Times, Deb was one of a handful of reporters who covered Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign from start to finish as a campaign embed for CBS News. He was named a "breakout media star" of the election by Politico. At The New York Times, Deb has interviewed high profile subjects such as Denzel Washington, Stephen Colbert, the cast of Arrested Development, Kyrie Irving, and Bill Murray. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and dog.