Shilpa Agarwal is the author of Haunting Bombay (April 2009, Soho Press), an acclaimed literary ghost story set in 1960’s India that became a bestseller (San Francisco Chronicle) three months after publication, and was awarded a First Words Literary Prize for South Asian Writers. It will also be published internationally in Europe and Asia. Shilpa earned her B.A. from Duke University and graduate degrees in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She has taught at both UCLA and UCSB and lives in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.hauntingbombay.com.
In her bestselling novel, Shilpa Agarwal weaves together literary fiction, a gripping mystery, and haunting supernatural spirits in a luminous story of power and powerlessness, voice and silence in modern India. Unfolding in an old colonial Bombay bungalow, Haunting Bombay is the story of three generations of the wealthy Mittal family who have buried a tragic history of a child’s drowning death and the ghosts of the past who rise up to haunt them. As the monsoons erupt over Bombay and supernatural spirits plunge the bungalow into chaos, one girl must find the courage to uncover the drowning’s shocking truth.
“A memorable novel of exceptional merit,” Haunting Bombay has been reviewed as “a beautifully crafted mystery of amazing depth, sensitivity, and complexity,” that parallels “the hauntings of Poe’s stories and… the hot pulse of today’s vampire narratives.”
Library Journal gave Haunting Bombay a starred review, saying “Readers who enjoy a good ghost story will appreciate the tense interplay between the living and the dead… Those who prefer realism will savor her attention to both historic and domestic details.”
USA TODAY said that the novel “draws on the broader mystical culture that envelops India, where there is always a supernatural explanation for everything that happens, especially the horrific.”
Mysterious Reviews commented that “Besides developing an outstanding story filled with family tensions and dark drama, Agarwal holds her reader’s interest with passages of history and biting social commentary and references to Indian mythology, deities, and regional superstitions. She can evoke laughter as well as tears, fear as well as serenity, and she is masterful at springing surprises at just the right moment.”
Readers have said that the novel evokes the mysticism of Isabelle Allende and spirituality of Toni Morrison while Library Journal said that it will appeal to fans of Pulitzer Prize author Jhumpa Lahiri.
HAUNTING BOMBAY is a winner of the First Words Literary Prize for South Asian Writers.
Read an except HERE.
Shilpa Agarwal’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Thursday, October 1, 2009: A Striped Armchair
Monday, October 5, 2009: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, October 6, 2009: Ramya’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, October 7, 2009: Literary Feline
Thursday, October 8, 2009: Savvy Verse & Wit
Monday, October 12, 2009: Devourer of Books
Thursday, October 15, 2009: Eclectic Book Lover
Monday, October 19, 2009: Maw Books
Thursday, October 22, 2009: Book Addiction
Monday, October 26, 2009: Fantasy Book Critic
Wednesday, October 28, 2009: Book-a-rama