Publication in 2020 by 7.13 Books
“These stories are filled with wisdom and compassion, bristling with dark occurrences and gleaming with quiet moments of joy: an enriching collection.” ~ Mahesh Rao, award-winning writer
“Pros & Cons offers up a complex portrait of our times. From caste-based violence to domestic power play, from yoga to the under-seam of real estate development, Bhatt uses a dozen devices to examine the lives of people around us, the choices that define them and, ultimately, our selves.” ~ Annie Zaidi, award-winning writer, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter
“Ambitious, sensitive, this collection locates some essential Indian truths, especially its hidden violence.” ~ Prayaag Akbar, award-winning writer and journalist
“. . . unforgettably unique stories . . . richly-layered scenes . . . diversely-assorted characters . . . finely-nuanced language . . .” ~ Advance reader reviews
“. . . three-time Pushcart-nominated . . .”
“. . . Best of the Net Anthology Finalist . . .”
“. . .Best American Short Stories Nominated . . .”
Set in present-day India and across the global Indian diaspora, these 12 stories follow the lives of Indian men and women trying to realize their dreams and aspirations through their jobs. Whether they’re chasing money, power, recognition, love, or simply trying to make a decent living, their hunger is as intense as any grand love affair. Straddling the fault lines of class, caste, gender, nationality, race, globalism, and more, they go against socio-cultural norms despite the challenges and indignities. Until singular moments of quiet devastation turn the worlds of these characters — auto-wallah, housemaid, street-vendor, journalist, architect, baker, engineer, sari shop employee, yoga instructor, bartender, and more — upside down.
Some 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.
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