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Vikram Paralkar Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Afflictions (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wounds of the Dead (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night Theatre (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Vikram Paralkar is an American published author.

Paralkar was born on February 14, 1981 in India in the city of Mumbai. Vikram would reside there until he was 24 years old. He currently lives in the United States, having moved to Philadelphia in 2005. In addition to being a writer, he is also a physician and scientist that works in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.

He says that his passion has been literature ever since he was a teenager. It was in his youth that he was introduced to the power that ideas and words could have. Some authors that particularly influenced him were Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino.

He says that his process and inspiration is relatively easy to explain. The author composes all of his writing at his desk on his iMac, without any of the romance that comes of being in a pastoral field, writing with pen and paper. He also says that a key part of his editing process is music. He will pick a piece that he feels matches the texture of the words he’s trying to convey and then weighs the music and the words, sculpting them as he sees fit. Te author says that inspiration is a difficult question, but Borges and Calvino did serve as influences for him while writing The Afflictions.

Paralkar also writes scientific papers in addition to fiction. He says that his day job involves being a physician-scientist, as he specializes in the field of leukemia. He also treats patients that have leukemia in chronic and acute forms. Meanwhile, he conducts research to find out how blood cells that are normal develop and the how and why of the event of why these cells turn cancerous sometimes.

His research paper was accepted for publication in April of 2016 in Molecular Cell, a journal. The paper dissected how long noncoding RNAs (an RNA class) work to regulate genes. He says that he finds doing this type of research ‘enriching’, mostly because it involves him taking the time to think about and ask questions about biology that are fundamental.

The author recounts that when he was at school, he was the type of kid that would spend summer vacations conducting his own scientific experiments. He would use whatever tools that he had available to do so, whether they were potatoes, baking soda, magnets, or something else. Now grown up, his adult science career lets him ask questions that may be entirely unique and never asked before. He calls the opportunity an ‘immense privilege’.

As any reader of his books could likely conclude, Paralkar has been vastly influenced in his writing by his medical training. His novel The Afflictions is a good example, where he would use the medical world to explore such ideas as desire, language, exile, and identity. Similarly, there is a lot of surgical detail and medical knowledge utilized and put to work in his second novel The Wounds of the Dead. He says that both literature and medicine focus on the human being, and the approaches may differ, but they are analyzing and focused around the same subject.

His first novel was published in 2014 and is titled The Afflictions. Three years later, the author would come out with another fictional novel, this time titled The Wounds of the Dead. In 2019, his third fictional novel was released. It is titled Night Theatre.

The Afflictions is the first novel to come out from Paralkar. In this story, readers get to meet the main character of Maximo.

Maximo is at the Central Library on his very first day, shadowing another librarian who is significantly older. While he’s there, he is excited to find that he gets a chance to look at the Encyclopedia of Medicine, a book that is exclusive. The book contains a lot of maladies, all collected together for exploring.

One is a form of amnesia that has the interesting side effect of causing every person that you have met in your life to actually forget that you exist, a rare form of memory wipe. Meanwhile, the person afflicted retains every bit of their memory and an all too clear awareness of the past. Then another details a wound that actually gets bigger with every bad deed or bad thought that you have. The upside to this is that it will get smaller thanks to every kind act you perform.

That’s not all that is contained in the strange encyclopedia. One disease causes the body to simulate the process of death where your heart stops and your blood cools down. It may pass, but by that time you may already be taken for dead and buried. Maximo is fascinated by the peek at these maladies that he has gotten, but is also starting to realize that the Central Library’s medicine might just be far more complex and eccentric than he was prepared for.

Full of unique diseases and an exploration of ‘archaic’ medicine, Paralkar puts his real-life status as a scientist and physician to work. Pick up this book and experience the age old struggle of human desire up against the limits that the body has!

Night Theatre is the third novel to come out from this author. When the city sees a scandal go down, a surgeon gets out of there quickly. He soon takes a job offered to him at a clinic in the village. There he uses his own money to buy antibiotics, contends with a roach problem, and has to deal with a corrupt officer. The interventions on the part of this officer are constant and irritating, but since he looks over his work, little can be done for the moment.

Everything changes when three people show up one night. They are a teacher, with his wife (who is pregnant) and their son. They were all killed, but tell him that if he can heal them before sunrise, they’ll get another chance of life. The night begins, and the surgeon starts to realize that perhaps his future is related to this dead family’s.

Morning comes, and the knowledge that he has acquired goes beyond what other mortals know. How will he and his assistant cope with this? Read the book to find out!

Book Series In Order » Authors » Vikram Paralkar

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