The Dream Builders

ISBN:
9781953534637
Pub Date:
01/10/2023
List Price:
$17.95
ISBN:
9781953534637
Pub Date:
01/10/2023
List Price:
$17.95
ISBN:
9781953534705
Pub Date:
01/10/2023
List Price:
$17.95

“Arresting, wrenching, desiring . . . an astonishing, and astonishingly accurate, portrait of contemporary India.” —Chitra Divakaruni, bestselling author of The Mistress of Spices

Creative writing professor Maneka Roy has not returned to India in years, and when she arrives in her home country to mourn the loss of her mother, she finds herself in a new world. The booming city of Hrishipur where her father now lives is nothing like the historic neighborhood where she grew up, and the more she sees of this new, sparkling city, the more she learns that nothing—and no one—in Hrishipur is as it appears. 

From handsome young photographer Ashok, who charms Maneka one night at a party, to her immaculately groomed friend Ramona, who dreams of a perfect future in a new apartment complex even as she struggles with her marriage in the present, and the bitter but determined electrician Gopal, whose furtive plan for the complex just might undermine everything Ramona—and everyone else in support of its construction—has hoped for, it’s clear that everyone in Hrishipur is hiding secrets. And as the summer temperatures soar to record highs, the longings and resentments of the community members simmer until they come to a shocking boil. Ultimately, it will take a tragic event that no one saw coming for Maneka and the others to finally understand just how fragile life is in this city built on aspirations.

In smart, propulsive prose, written from the perspectives of ten different characters, Oindrila Mukherjee’s incisive debut novel explores class divisions, gender roles, and stories of survival within a society that is constantly changing and becoming increasingly Americanized. Her story of Hrishipur is not only the story of India today, but the story of people impacted by globalization everywhere: a tale of ambition, longing, love, and bitter loss that asks what it really costs to try and build a dream.

Praise

  • The Dream Builders is a novel of epic proportions that follows Maneka Roy and those around her as they each ponder the power of forgiveness and learn none of them can wield that power without first forgiving the self. Oindrila Mukherjee allows full life for these characters who are often real enough to remind us of ourselves, even as they betray one another. . . . even as they betray themselves. This is a lovely debut.

    —Jericho Brown, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Tradition

  • Oindrila Mukherjee’s The Dream Builders is such an impressive feat of storytelling, a novel that examines the constraints of class, of gender, of history, while showcasing the sheer expansiveness of the endeavor, skillfully shifting the point of view amongst a group of characters who each demand a claim on the story. It’s a marvel of a structure, built by a great talent.

    —Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here

  • Mukherjee has written a funny, moving, and often deliciously cynical novel about the illusive ideal we sometimes call the New India. Written from almost every angle imaginable, the novel demonstrates how each of us might be a hero in our own narratives while being the potential villain in someone else’s.

    —Tiphanie Yanique, author of Monster in the Middle

  • A multitude of voices and visions—arresting, wrenching, desiring—come together to create an astonishing, and astonishingly accurate, portrait of contemporary India. Oindrila Mukherjee has done a superb job.

    —Chitra Divakaruni, bestselling author of The Mistress of Spices

  • The Dream Builders showcases a vibrant cast of characters whose complex lives are a testament to India’s astonishing diversity. Oindrila Mukherjee has written a soulful novel that’ll break your heart with its truth.

    —Samrat Upadhyay, author of Mad Country