Profile – Murzban F. Shroff

Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. He spent sixteen years in advertising, at multinational ad agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, McCann Erickson, and Grey Advertising, where he helped build some of the country’s most reputed brands. After five years as Creative Director, Shroff started his own creative consultancy, which grew so fast and made so many demands on him that he felt he was turning into some kind of an unnatural growth machine. “There was gratification and a measure of achievement, but no real fulfillment,” he says. He, therefore, returned to his first love – writing – and worked on the nuts and bolts of it for six years.

In February 2008, Shroff’s debut short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was published by St. Martin’s Press, U.S., and Picador India. For its ability to capture the lives of the invisible and show a city in transition, a city in the throes of seismic modernization, the work received great critical acclaim from forums like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, Booklist, the Huffington Post, and the BBC Asian Network.


In 2009, Breathless in Bombay was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia.

In 2012, the Guardian rated it as among the ten best Mumbai books.

In June 2015, Shroff represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival, which hosted 75 award-winning writers from across the world.

In October 2015, Shroff was invited to speak at UCLA, California State University Monterey Bay, and Berkeley on writing outside his milieu, writing about the underprivileged.

In December 2015, Shroff launched 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 received high praise from writers like Madison Smartt Bell (National Book Award Finalist) and Robert Olen Butler (Pulitzer Prize-winner).

In September 2016, Shroff was invited to speak about his work at the Young Presidents’ Organization, Bangalore; the British Council, Bangalore; and SAP Bangalore.

In September 2016, Shroff was a key speaker at a National Symposium on “Parsi Contribution to Indian Literature and Culture,” organized by the Sahitya Akademi and University of Mumbai.


In November 2016, Shroff participated in the Bangalore Literature Festival, taking part in two events: a panel discussion on “The Enduring Magic of the Short Story” and a solo event on “Humor in the Age of Intolerance.”

In January 2017, Shroff spoke on “The Importance of Issue-based Writing” at a seminar held by The Government of India’s Science & Technology Department for students of filmmaking.

To date, Shroff has published his fiction with over sixty literary journals in the U.S. and UK. In the U.S. he has published his stories in journals like The Gettysburg Review, Triquarterly, The Minnesota Review, The South Carolina Review, Southwest Review, and World Literature Today. His fiction has also appeared in venues like 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 U.S.

To know more about Breathless in Bombay, visit:

To know more about Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, visit:

Shroff is available for readings, speaking engagements, author training, and book mentoring. He can be contacted at: / +91-9821-460-578

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