'90s Literary Sci-fi Novel Identification
February 9, 2015 12:37 PM   Subscribe

A literary Sci-fi novel I read in the mid to late '90s. Sketchily remembered details: A boy has been genetically modified for talent in the visual arts. He is told at one point to "open his gift" and goes on to become a famous artist and perhaps something of a guru. A few more details within.

I think the boy had an Indian sounding name, Krishnamurthy, or something close. He has breasts added surgically because it is fashionable at the time. I don't remember if the book included any specific dates, but it took place in the future. The book (hardback) included glossy color photos of some of the character's artworks, which were actually created by the author. I think the boy eventually turns away from the arts, and then dies(?). My memory of it is pretty hazy.

There was an interview with the male author in the NY Times, which is where I heard about it. I believe he said it was his 3rd book, and that his books never made any money, and that he was grateful to his wife for supporting his writing. I think he said his other books were not sci-fi.

I didn't think that much of the book when I read it and got rid of it in a purge. I'd like to revisit it now and see what else the author has written. I have no idea of the name of the novel or the author. I have done a bunch of searching and have not come up with anything. I'm hoping someone here might know. Thanks!
posted by DarkForest to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I read that book! It's The Song of the Earth by Hugh Nissenson, one of the most underrated great authors ever. I think this is the article you remembered.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 2:57 PM on February 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: That's it. Thank you!! I guess I misremembered the character name pretty badly. I can start my re-read tonight. Thanks again.
posted by DarkForest at 4:37 PM on February 9, 2015

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