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Shiva is Satisfied

An epistolary novel as prelude to a series of novels entitled Trickster, this present novel set against the events of our times, Shiva Is Satisfied follows the lives of a narrator and his family and close friends as they struggle with the seemingly most catastrophic of times–today’s worldwide destruction by global warming, endless wars of death and refugee camps for millions, ceaseless acts of terrorism, universal fear. A senior official at the Institute for Advanced Science and Creativity, Dr. Dante Mariano, his sisters Tristessa and Ariel, his brother Mariusz, and closest associate I.T .Donovan try to cope with this ubiquitous upheaval, their stories culminating in a surprising conclusion to the novel, involving Dante’s beloved Alessandra, which perhaps resolves his ambivalence towards living.
As he has in his more recent works, Congemi adds to this novels dashes of magical realism. A poor endlessly hardworking woman shrinks in size until she disappears and no one cares or even notices.  A lawyer in mid life crisis argues with Apollo over the lawyer’s diminishing sexual life, as well as does another family womanizer, the lawyer’s grandfather, with Erato, until both men are sentenced to appropriate sexual fates. Nagasaki children incinerated by the atom bomb inconveniently appear in real life.
As for himself, Dr. Mariano scurries among the people of his life, trying to comfort everyone by his efforts, and might have said, mordantly and angrily: “I’ve become a rabbit—no, better, lesser, a squirrel looking for carrots or nuts. And in the process I misunderstand a tragic youngster, reach out to a hermit for comfort, bedevil an angelic woman for my own needs. O, I could I channel Shiva and Lear: ‘Blow, hurricanoes; roar; conflagration; perish, moribund earth!'”