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Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

by Geoff Dyer May 14, 2010
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

The protagonist of Dyer’s latest book is jaded British journalist Jeff Atman, who travels in the first half of this novel to Venice for the 2003 VeniceBiennale, the largest international art event, which takes place every two years in this romantic and unique location. Atman parties and schmoozeswith the art world elite while falling for an American gallery director named Laura. The second part of the novel takes place in India. Atman travelsto the Hindi holy city Ganges at Varanasi on a writing assignment. What is expected to be a short stay turns into a transformative residence in thewatery city. The juxtaposition of these two magical cities and Atman’s personal journey in each place provides humorous contrasts and surprisingcomparisons.

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