Gold Diggers

Gold Diggers


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An Indian-American magical realist coming of age story, spanning two continents, two coasts, and four epochs, in razor sharp and deeply funny prose, Sathian captures what it is to grow up as a member of a family, of a diaspora, and of the American meritocracy.

A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is authentic, funny, and smart. He just doesn't share the same drive as everyone around him. His perfect older sister is headed to Duke. His parents' expectations for him are just as high. He tries to want this version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal.

But Anita has a secret: she and her mother Anjali have been brewing an ancient alchemical potion from stolen gold that harnesses the ambition of the jewelry's original owner. Anjali's own mother in Bombay didn't waste the precious potion on her daughter, favoring her sons instead. Anita, on the other hand, just needs a little boost to get into Harvard. But when Neil--who needs a whole lot more--joins in the plot, events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart.

Ten years later, Neil is an oft-stoned Berkeley history grad student studying the California gold rush. His high school cohort has migrated to Silicon Valley, where he reunites with Anita and resurrects their old habit of gold theft--only now, the stakes are higher. Anita's mother is in trouble, and only gold can save her. Anita and Neil must pull off one last heist.

Gold Diggers is a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation in to questions of identity and coming of age--that tears down American shibboleths.

Title:Gold Diggers
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Gold Diggers Reviews

  • Ron Charles

    Sanjena Sathian’s “Gold Diggers” is a work of 24-karat genius. This remarkable debut novel — already chosen by Mindy Kaling for an upcoming TV series — melts down striving immigrant tales, O...

  • Barbara

    2.5 stars: I have very mixed feelings about “Gold Diggers” by Sanjena Sathian. Perhaps it is because I went into it blind, not totally understanding the “magical realism” and what that entails...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    Thanks to the title, you never really have to wonder if this book is going to be so on the nose with its themes. It may be a bit out of fashion in literary fiction these days to be so straightforward ...

  • Linda

    All that glitters and all of that.Gold Diggers drew me in, initially, as I've always enjoyed novels based on Indian/Asian themes. The thought of a bit of magical realism lined with gold/alchemy in the...

  • Dianne

    Another excellent debut novel! This will probably scare off some readers because there is some magical realism swirled in here but it’s not heavy-handed or overly “woo-woo.” It’s not really ev...

  • RoshReviews

    Gold Diggers is an Indian-American story unlike any I've read before. It's quite a unique debut novel, focused on the desi diaspora in the US. The narrator of the book is Neil Narayan (actual name: Ne...

  • Mythili

    Content warning: suicideSecond Disclaimer: I am perhaps unduly harsh on books about the Indian-American experience. They are more likely to exasperate me. Not because I think that every book needs to ...

  • Pooja

    One of the best! Gold Diggers taps into some profound questions about American-ness, ambition, manifest destiny and meritocracy. But it's also hilarious, one of those novels that may be a bit impolite...

  • Shivani

    *3.5 stars TW: suicide, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, racism, classism, sexual assaultWhere do I begin with this book? If you didn't know, whenever I read a book that has many ups and downs I u...

  • David

    There was a lot that I liked about Gold Diggers. Sanjena Sathian is a beautiful writer and the story was well constructed, particularly the second half. I found the magical realism a bit distracting a...