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Murzban F Shroff | From Diversity to Adversity: A Writer’s Journey into the Unknown

Lecture | October 10 | 5-7 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)


Murzban F Shroff, Author

Poulomi Saha, Assistant Professor of English

Institute for South Asia Studies, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies, Department of English


Murzban F. Shroff, Author of Breathless in Bombay (stories) and Waiting for Jonathan Koshy (novel) shares his experiences of writing under threat.

Speaker Bio

Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. He spent 16 years in advertising, at multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, McCann Erickson, and Grey, where he helped build some of the country’s most reputed brands. After that, Shroff started his own creative consultancy, which grew so fast that he felt he was turning into some kind of an unnatural growth machine. He, therefore, returned to his first love – writing - and worked on the nuts and bolts of it for six years.

In 2008, Shroff published his first book, a collection of short stories, Breathless in Bombay, with St. Martin’s Press, U.S, and Picador India. The book was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books.

In December 2015, Shroff published his novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, the second part in his Mumbai trilogy. The novel was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and earned high praise from two renowned American authors: the Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler and the National Book Award Finalist Madison Smartt Bell.

To date, Shroff has published his fiction with over sixty literary journals in the USA and the UK, including the Gettysburg Review, Triquarterly, the Minnesota Review, the South Carolina Review, Southwest Review, and World Literature Today. His fiction has also appeared in publications such as the Saturday Evening Post and Chicago Tribune. His non-fiction has appeared in India Abroad and the American Scholar. In the UK, his stories have appeared in Aesthetica, Cadenza, Short Fiction, Stand, and Structo. Shroff is the recipient of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has garnered six Pushcart Prize nominations, the highest award for the short story in the USA.

He has represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival and was invited to speak about his work at UCLA, California State University Monterey Bay, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, and the Gandhi Memorial Center in Bethesda, U.S.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

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isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608