(December 2018, Bombaykala Books, India)
The 12 stories in this collection explore the contemporary working lives of Indian men and women across socio-cultural hierarchies — from Indian villages to Western cities. The protagonists — an auto-wallah, a sari shop employee, a street vendor, a teenage barmaid, a techie engineer — seem like average people going about their ordinary working lives but their aspirations and dreams about their work are as intense as any grand love affair. The workplace is, often, where we form an individual identity and sense of self that is separate from who we are with our families and friends. So, despite the challenges and indignities at their jobs, the people in these stories look for meaning and purpose within them. And then, singular moments of quiet devastation turn their worlds upside down and shape the lives to come.
Several of these stories have been published in respectable literary magazines (print and online) in the UK and the US — publication details are included below. One of these stories earned a Pushcart nomination, one was shortlisted for The Best of the Net Anthology (alongside other acclaimed short story writers like Lydia Davis, Allegra Hyde, Daisy Johnson, et al), and one was nominated for the Best American Short Stories 2017 Anthology.
Author bio: Jenny Bhatt is a writer, literary translator, and literary critic. She is a Contributing Editor (Books) at PopMatters. Her first short story collection is due out in 2018 with Bombaykala Books and her literary translation of Dhumketu’s short stories will be out in 2019 with HarperCollins India. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in various respectable journals in the US, UK, and India, including The Atlantic, BBC Culture, Literary Hub, Longreads, and others. Her fiction has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and the 2017 Best American Short Stories. She was a finalist for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology alongside respected writers like Lydia Davis, Allegra Hyde, and Daisy Johnson. Having lived and worked her way around India, England, Germany, Scotland, and various parts of the US, she now splits her time between Atlanta, Georgia, USA and Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Find her at: https://indiatopia.com/about-2/
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