Literature and Mumbai lovers surely cannot miss these seven novels that describe this beloved city in an enchanting way. Based on the city that never sleeps, these books will take you back in time or introduce you to a life you have not yet experienced, so for some incredible reads, be sure to add these top picks to your reading list!
Penned by Suketu Mehta, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found is a microscopic view of Mumbai. The novel unravels not just one perspective of this bustling city but also gives a different angle each time. Ranging from the eyes of a villager who comes to the city in search of fortune to a bar dancer’s life, this book explores the highs and lows of aspirations of an individual in a never-before-seen way.
Written by Rohinton Mistry, Family Matters is a rather serious and an alien take on the city. The book explores the life of a Parsi family, and through their experiences, it gives readers the feel of Mumbai. Concentrated more on a family, the novel brings to light the emotions of sadness, life, the constraint of being happy and helplessness. Nevertheless, it introduces you to Mumbai like you have never seen it before!
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is a story that is said to be inspired by real events. The plot tells the story of a man who arrived in Mumbai only for a halt. The book explores the kind of experiences he gathers while he decides to stay in the city. During the course of the story, the central character’s belongings are lost, and he is forced to stay in a not-so-elite locality. With the experiences of the people, their lifestyle, and their everyday struggles, the novel takes a new turn on the life of Mumbai. The book is more about the diversity in the city than anything else.
Dongri To Dubai, written by S. Hussain Zaidi, is a book of which you cannot get enough. The moment you get entangled in the streets of Mumbai, through this book, you see a different city altogether. With an elongated account of the underworld scenario of the city, Dongri To Dubai is like pictorial image of this unpredictable metropolis. The novel traces the journey of Dawood Ibrahim.
A brilliant narration by Vikram Chandra, Love and Longing in Bombay is a concoction of five interlinked stories that depict Mumbai through many eyes. The narrator recites the story while sitting in a Bombay bar. These stories are interconnected and showcase different aspects of life ranging from love and mystery to a ghost.
Though set in an unnamed city, this book by Rohinton Mistry rightly fits the description of Mumbai. The novel describes the era of the Emergency and tells the tale of four strangers. The book also indirectly refers to Indira Gandhi as The Prime Minister. With stories from different walks of life, the novel brings to light the economic conditions, corruption, emotions of friendship and love in the forefront.
This book, written by Katherine Boo, is set in the Annawadi settlement in the city of Mumbai. The novel traces the gap between the elite and the ones who are struggling every day to make ends meet. The tale not only defines the jarring opposites but also hints at the aspirations and the incomplete dreams of the have-nots in the city. With the close observation of the economic change, the novel keeps you hooked till the end.