- Paperback: 280 pages
- Published: 2/28/12
- IBSN: 9781617750274
- e-IBSN: 9781617751127
- Genre: Fiction
Following the success of Delhi Noir and the film Slumdog Millionaire, Mumbai Noir depicts the many ways in which the city’s ever-present shadowy aspects often force themselves onto the lives of ordinary people.
“Tyrewala’s insightful introduction greatly enhances the reading experience, and the glossary helps, too. There are PIs‚ meet Ahmed Bunglowala’s Shorty Gomes proving his mettle in Nagpada Blues. Or for historical context, try Kalpish Ratna’s At Leopold Café, which haunts long after the final word. The collection is astonishingly diverse . . . [G]o for Tyrewala’s anthology for the experience of sampling brand-new authors and for his superb introduction.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Most of the 14 short stories in Akashic’s workmanlike Mumbai volume draw inspiration from the criminal networks and the sordid underbelly the city is infamous for . . . Armchair travelers will find plenty of amusement in touring the seedier parts of this island city in perfect safety.”
“The fifteen contributors to Mumbai Noir . . . provide a cool composite narrative of a unique human-intensive metropolitan system, whose magnitude, complexity, diversity, and pace can hardly be captured in writing or, for that matter, any other medium. [Mumbai Noir is] rich and diverse in character and characterization.”
—Rain Taxi Review of Books
Read “Justice” by Riaz Mulla, featured as part of Akashic’s celebration of Short Story Month 2013.
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.
Brand-new stories by: Annie Zaidi, R. Raj Rao, Abbas Tyrewala, Avtar Singh, Ahmed Bunglowala, Smita Harish Jain, Sonia Faleiro, Altaf Tyrewala, Namita Devidayal, Jerry Pinto, Kalpish Ratna, Riaz Mulla, Paromita Vohra, and Devashish Makhija.
From the introduction by Altaf Tyrewala:
“The city’s chroniclers—its novelists, essayists, poets, journalists, and filmmakers—often seem overawed by the idea of Mumbai, rendering its quotidian realities in brushstrokes of grandiose narratives. What inoculates the stories in this collection from the hyperbole of “maximum city”—that much-abused term coined by the astute Suketu Mehta to describe Mumbai—are the restraints set by the noir genre, which stipulates, among other things, an unflinching gaze at the underbelly, without recourse to sentimentality or forced denouements. When viewed from a plane (or hot-air balloon), any metropolis might strike one as jaw-dropping. For a majority of Mumbai’s residents, however, the city’s overcrowded public transportation and decaying infrastructure fail to provide even the minimum of relief . . .
Social commentators accuse Mumbai of a savage sort of indifference. Absolutely nothing seems to affect the city. Or maybe that’s a wrong way of looking at things. Maybe Mumbai isn’t just one city, but an organic conglomerate of innumerable subcities, each thrumming to its own vibe. A tragedy in one part of Mumbai barely registers elsewhere. People fall off moving trains, bombs erupt in busy bazaars, lives are made and broken in the city’s daily flux, and things go on as usual.”
Table of Contents
Part I: Bomb-ay
“Justice” by Riyaz Mulla (Mahim Durgah)
“The Romantic Customer” by Paromita Vohra (Andheri East)
“By Two” by Devashish Makhija (Versova)
“Chachu At Dusk” by Abbas Tyrewala (Lamington Road)
Part II: Dangerous Liasions
“Nagpada Blues” by Ahmed Bunglowala (Nagpada)
“The Body in the Gali” by Smita Harish Jain (Kamathipura)
“A Suitable Girl” by Annie Zaidi (Mira Road)
“TZP” by R. Raj Rao (Pasta Lane)
“Pakeezah” by Avtar Singh (Apollo Bunder)
Part III: An Island Unto Itself
“The Watchman” by Altaf Tyrewala (Worli)
“Lucky 501” by Sonia Faleiro (Sanjay Gandhi National Park)
“The Egg” by Namita Devidayal (Walkeshwar)
“At Leopold Café” by Kalpish Ratna (Colaba Causeway)
“They” by Jerry Pinto (Mahim Church)
ALTAF TYREWALA was born in Mumbai and graduated from Baruch College, New York. He is the editor of Mumbai Noir and the author of the critically acclaimed novel No God in Sight, which has been published across the world and translated into several European languages. His nonfiction has been featured in GQ, Tehelka, Mumbai Mirror, Mail Today, and People. He has been awarded the DAAD Artist-in-Berlin literature grant for 2011, and is currently working on his second novel.