Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal

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"[An] intriguing debut novel...Agarwal seeks to give voice to the dispossessed through the supernatural."—USA Today

"[Shilpa] Agarwal's work will definitely appeal to fans of Monica Ali and Jhumpa Lahiri by virtue of its characters and setting, but it retains a fresh, original feel that will draw in new readers with its own literary merit. Recommended for all but the smallest fiction collections."—Library Journal

“In her stunning debut novel Shilpa Agarwal takes on the ghosts that bedevil young Pinky Mittal's extended family and dispatches them with rambunctious wit and affection. The result is like finely wrought mirror work, a glittering tapestry of vibrant contradictions, characters, and mysteries. Haunting Bombay flirts deliciously with the true spirit of India.”—Aimee Liu, author of Flash House

After her mother’s death crossing the border from Pakistan to India during Partition, baby Pinky was taken in by her grandmother, Maji, the matriarch of the powerful Mittal family. Now thirteen years old, Pinky lives with her grandmother and her uncle’s family in a bungalow on the Malabar Heights in Bombay. While she has never really been accepted by her uncle’s family, she has always had Maji’s love.

One day, as monsoons engulf the city, Pinky opens a mysteriously bolted door, unleashing the ghosts of an infant who drowned shortly before Pinky’s arrival and of the nursemaid who cared for the child. Three generations of the Mittal family must struggle to come to terms with their secrets amidst hidden shame, forbidden love, and a call for absolute sacrifice.

Shilpa Agarwal was born in Bombay and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Duke University and UCLA and has taught at both UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. As an unpublished novel, Haunting Bombay won a 2003 First Words Literary Prize for South Asian Writers. It is her first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Shilpa Agarwal

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\Shilpa Agarwal was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles and has taught at both UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. She is a founder and board member of the South Asian Artists' Collective. HAUNTING BOMBAY is her first novel.
Published April 1, 2009 by Soho Press. 369 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Haunting Bombay

Kirkus Reviews

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Set, obviously enough, in Bombay, this novel purports to be eerie but doesn't wring much horror from the weirdness it recounts.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Haunting Bombay

BC Books

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A deftly plotted tale of the supernatural coupled with familial drama, set in 1960s India.

Jun 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Haunting Bombay

Gather Books

Pinky Mittal grew up in the home of her maternal grandmother Maji, after the death of her mother Yamuna during the violence surrounding the partition of India.

Apr 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Haunting Bombay

Mysterious Reviews

The ghost of an infant girl lives there as well, by day quiet and harmless, by night covertly locked away in the family bathroom until one evening Pinky in a fit of pique unwittingly releases her to wreak havoc on the family's lives while avenging her untimely and mysterious death.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Disbelieved by everyone, menaced by the ghost no one else perceives, Pinky gropes for understanding – hoping to appease the ghost with empathy.

Mar 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Haunting Bombay

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