Indie musician Neela Devaki has built a career writing the songs she wants to hear but nobody else is singing. When one of Neela’s songs is covered by internet artist RUK-MINI and becomes a viral sensation, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But before long, the systemic pressures that pit women against one another begin to bear down on Neela and RUK-MINI, stirring up self-doubt and jealousy. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, a career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the centre of an internet firestorm.
Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel, The Subtweet is a no-holds-barred examination of the music industry and making art in the modern era that shines a light on the promise and peril of being seen.
The Subtweet takes the topic of online life and allows it to become simply part of the lives of its fully human, complex characters. What emerges is a deeply moving tale about the relationships between artists and friends. Biting and beautiful, it’s written with heart by an essential voice.
So engaging. I can’t think of anything I’ve read that has captured Twitter culture so well. There is something special in this book that really touches on the absurdity and pressure of social media and art. I couldn’t put it down.
The Subtweet is a smart, funny, incisive, heart-crushing interrogation of art, race, friendship, social media, and the music industry. These characters and their self-destructive self-doubt are compelling, real, and vivid. I wanted to live-tweet my reading because I’m just obsessed.
A subtle mystery—it captures the adrenaline-filled strange alienation and over-visibility of social media, the sedimentations of racism, and the vicissitudes of female friendship. This is a literary novel as well as a hyper-contemporary one. I literally gasped.