First published in 2019, removed from print and Kindle in 2021, and republished on its three-year anniversary in 2022 as a love letter from the author to the indie literature community, Devolution is hellish, bewildering, disillusioned, rough, raw, and melancholy. And in the new 2022 edition, this book has a little something extra: an intricate prelude reflecting on exile, capitalism in traditional publishing, and the stigma following indie creators alongside the author’s experiences with earning their M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the California Institute of the Arts, and getting their foot in the art and publishing worlds between Devolution‘s initial release date and now. It also details why, out of Sanghvi’s seven original books, all of which the author unpublished in mid-2021 (along with Devolution), they decided to bring back this one (the odd book out and least recognized of the bunch), and this one alone, in what is more or less its original, untampered early-2019 form.
It was upon the poetic pages of his renowned Divine Comedy that Dante Alighieri ascended. He famously commenced his journey in Inferno, and later reached Paradiso.
The speaker in Devolution, however, is on a different journey. Rather than drawing nearer to Paradiso, she can only journey further away from bliss. It is by God’s design that our tragic heroine continues to slip and fall, and it is by His will that she descends.
Will she find redemption before the pages run inkless, or will she be doomed to the depraved depths of Inferno forevermore?