The Dream Builders

Oindrila Mukherjee

The Dream Builders
Scribe Publications
28 February 2023

The Dream Builders

Oindrila Mukherjee

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 Americanised. Her story of Hrishipur is not only the story of India today, but the story of people impacted by globalisation everywhere - a tale of ambition, longing, love, and bitter loss that asks what it really costs to try and build a dream.

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

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