Dr. Sunit "Sonny" Seth is a gifted but troubled (emotionally and spiritually) third year resident who works at a New York hospital that treats and employs many immigrants from India. The sleep-walking Sonny is assigned to care for a prominent Indian politician known as the Transplanted Man, a patient who has already received seven organ transplants and is currently in renal failure.

Sonny mysteriously rescues the Transplanted Man from the brink of death following a kidney transplant but later learns his patient died from a cardiac arrest. Although Sonny is no stranger to personal loss and longing, the death of this special patient serves as a catalyst. He breaks up with his girlfriend, quits his residency, and dreams of relocating to Trinidad. Meanwhile, nearly everyone else Sonny knows seems to be struggling with their role and place in the world as well.


This novel explores the many challenges of connecting and deduces that all forms of human connection--cultural, marital, individual, and spiritual--are tenuous, threatening, and ultimately transforming. Transplantation seems an apt metaphor for the giving and taking, coming and going that pervade this book.

The novel suggests that we spend most of our lives trying to discover who we really are. Yet what we become is largely dependent upon the quality of our search. Like the Transplanted Man, we are all amalgamations of those individuals who help us along our journey.

Home is not so much a matter of latitude and longitude as it is a sense of belonging. The characters long for a perfect place and believe such a place exists. The problem lies in finding it. In this instance, the melding of two very different cultures results in conflict and weakness. As one character points out "The shadow of India still hangs over us like hurricane clouds"[231].

Many eccentric and endearing characters populate this novel. A medical researcher who once attempted to identify a biochemical basis for love now believes he has found a factor (dubbed insomnin) that might regulate human sleep. A therapist struggles with his role as both psychologist and guru. A homeless man moves in ultra slow motion. Despite the many differences that exist between its multiple characters, the book reminds us that we are all in pursuit of the great American (and Indian) dream: love, companionship, family, success, meaningful work, a sense of place, and a good night's sleep.


William Morrow

Place Published

New York



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