26 September, 2020

Baubles, Spangles And The Rest

Light and shade illumine Faleiro’s hapless bar dancer. It’s the best medium for her unforgiving Mumbai too.

Baubles, Spangles And The Rest

When Salman Rushdie wrote Midnight’s Children, it influenced a generation of young writers; since then the only book that has had such impact is Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City. We had, till its publication, mainly been a nation of novelists—Mehta proved that it was also possible to write gripping reportage. In answer to his call, the last few years have seen exciting new non-fiction by a crop of young writers—work that to my mind has surpassed much of new fiction. I am thinking of books such as Pallavi Aiyar’s Smoke and Mirrors, Aatish Taseer’s A Stranger to History, Basharat Peer’s Curfewed Night, Namita Devidayal’s The Music Room (these last two published by Random House India). Now we have Sonia Faleiro’s Beautiful Thing.

Of all these writers, Faleiro’s Beautiful Thing owes the greatest debt to Maximum City. Both are about noirish Bombay, of homely nightclubs, dingy brothels, and brushes with the...



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