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After living in the US for years, Maneka Roy returns home to India to mourn the loss of her mother and finds herself in a new world. The booming city of Hrishipur where her father now lives is nothing like the country where she grew up, and the more she sees of this new, sparkling city, the more she learns that nothing—and no one—here is as it appears. Ultimately, it will take an unexpected tragic event for Maneka and those around her to finally understand just how fragile life is in this city built on aspirations.

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. It’s a story about India today, and people impacted by globalization everywhere: a tale of ambition, longing, and bitter loss that asks what it really costs to try and build a dream.


Kevin Wilson

Oindrila Mukherjee’s The Dream Builders is such an impressive feat of storytelling...a marvel of a structure, built by a great talent.

Jericho Brown

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.

Tiphanie Yanique

Mukherjee has written a funny, moving, and often deliciously cynical novel about the illusive ideal we sometimes call the New India.

Upcoming Events

  • Schuler Books ArtPrize Book Fair
    Schuler Books ArtPrize Book Fair
    Sat, Sep 23
    Grand Rapids
    Sep 23, 2023, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Grand Rapids, 2 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
    Sep 23, 2023, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Grand Rapids, 2 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
    This year's ArtPrize includes a book fair featuring 12 local authors. Come find us!
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About Oindrila Mukherjee

Detailed Bio

Oindrila Mukherjee grew up in India, where she worked as a journalist for the country's oldest English language newspaper The Statesman. She is the author of the debut novel The Dream Builders, published earlier in 2023, in the US by Tin House Books, in Australia and the UK by Scribe Publications, and in India by Harper Collins. She has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida. Her shorter work  has appeared in Salon, Kenyon Review Online, Ecotone, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Oxford Anthology of Bengali Literature, The Colorado Review, and elsewhere. She was the creative writing fellow in fiction at Emory University. She has been the recipient of a Nehru Chevening Centenary Scholarship from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, the Diana P Hobby Prize from Inprint Houston, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers Conference and a fellowship from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts. She is a a contributing editor for Aster(ix), a literary and arts magazine committed to social justice. She created a book series called Bottom Shelf for the Indian magazine, where she writes about lesser known or forgotten Indian books in English. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she teaches creative writing at Grand Valley State University.

Short Bio

Oindrila Mukherjee grew up in India and now lives in Grand Rapids Michigan, where she teaches creative writing at Grand Valley State University. She is the author of the novel The Dream Builders, published on four continents in 2023. 

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Podcast & Print Interviews

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Other Writing


US - Kenyon Review

Woodwork - Kweli

Cul De Sac - Philadelphia Stories

Once Again Next YearJaggery

Ravenous - A New Decameron  

The Confidante - Ecotone

Greetings - Colorado Review 

The Violin House - Crab Orchard Review

Roommates - South Carolina Review

The Ways We Cook Fish - Best New Writing 2010


How to Survive a Visit to India - Essay Daily 

#Midwessay: The Things I Might Tell You - Essay Daily 

How We Are - How We Are

My First Snowfall - Salon

Literary Criticism 

7 City Novels in Which Real Estate and Urban Planning are the Heroes and Villains - Electric Literature

Lost in the Way of the City: Review of The City Son by Samrat Upadhyay - Los Angeles Review of Books

Bottom Shelf (Book Series) - Scroll

Get in Touch

Agent: Jessica Friedman at Sterling Lord Literistic -

Publicists for The Dream Builders

US: Becky Kramer -

Australia: Cora Roberts -

UK: Adam Howard -

India: Shivendra Singh

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