Vikram Chandra – upcoming novel: Bombay mafia theme, 1225 pages and US$ 1.3 m advance

I have just found great news (see links below) about Vikram Chandra’s forthcoming novel. This book, his third, is still untitled but will be published by Harper Collins (US/Canada) and Faber and Faber (UK). It is about the Bombay (or Mumbai) mafia, and at 1225 pages will be one of the longest novels published in recent years. Vikram will receive a US$ 1.3 m advance for the combined US and UK rights, after a bidding war between 6 publishers. The Indian publisher is not yet known.

Vikram’s previous books are the superb novel ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ and the impressive volume of stories ‘Love and Longing in Bombay’. I have had the privilege of meeting him, at a conference in Bologna in 2000. It is a great pleasure to know both Vikram and his Spanish translator and critic, Dora Sales Salvador. Dora’s book on Vikram, based on her Ph.D. thesis, is reviewed elsewhere in this blog (28 Sept 05). Here too on the blog you can find a piece on the paper I gave at in Lisbon in 2004 on Dora’s translation of Vikram (27 Sept 05). At Vkram’s site – – you can find, in the bibliography, 13 entries under Dora’s name and seven under my own. Vikram currently teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley.
Site:, 5 Oct 05**
Site: Mumbai Newsline – 30 Sept 05**
‘Million dollar Baby: Author Vikram Chandra joins the fancy-advance club ‘
From New Kerala:
‘Stated to be on the lines of the hugely popular ”The Godfather” and a Victorian Gothic work, Vikram Chandra’s latest novel is considered to be a major work of literature.’ **
‘Vikram Chandra worked seven years on his current novel, which portrays crime in Mumbai and takes on ”religion, politics, money, corruption, idealism, family, loyalty, and betrayal," according to a HarperCollins statement released on Monday.’
From Mumbai Newsline:
‘The Commonwealth Prize-winner’s new novel—his third book—has earned a million-dollar advance, putting him in an exclusive club of Indian authors that includes Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth and Arundhati Roy. ‘**
‘Though the novel is set in Mumbai, it moves to north India, Bihar and south-east Asia, to countries like Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, “like modern organised crime”’ ‘While publishers usually shy away from large-size books, Chandra’s was fought for by three top publishing houses. “I was a bit curious about that. When I started writing it, I thought it would be shorter. It’s long but it doesn’t feel that long, it moves fairly well. There are a couple of questions that dominate the book that keep the reader going.” ‘


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