Raj Bhatt is one of the only non-white members of a posh tennis club and is excited when an African American couple applies to join. But when Raj uses a racial slur to try to relate to the couple, he is vilified as a racist. Meanwhile, Raj finds himself in hot water with a conservative group after an out-of-context clip from one of his university lectures critiquing Christianity goes viral.
Members Only...is as provocative as it is comedic ... Facing social, professional, personal implosion—all in one week—might seem impossibly overdramatic, but Members Only proves remarkably convincing ... That said, don't expect all doom-and-gloom here: without ever eliding the gravity of serious social issues like racism, privilege and power, Pandya deftly manages to create a tragicomedy of errors driven by surprising wit, irreverent humor and razor-sharp insight.
Pandya skillfully uses elements of the immigrant experience, mid-life crisis, and university life to weave a fictional spell. While the novel confronts serious themes such as racism, academic serfdom and the dark side of viral social media, Pandya balances that weight with humor and irony ... Raj Bhatt is easy to like and I became caught up in his story, experiencing his doubts and fears as well as his joy.
... a timely story about prejudice and white privilege ... In a multi-racial society, race relations are themselves multi-lateral. Pandya bankshots questions that Americans face and ignore every day ... questions and more are smoothly woven into the first person narrative of dilemmas at club and campus ... a thoughtful guide to these issues as they continue to make the news in the US on a daily basis.