Waiting for Jonathan Koshy: Book Talk with author Murzban Shroff

From the author of Breathless in Bombay comes an intensely engaging novel about life, family, friendship, and duty. In the heart of Pali Hill, the Beverly Hills of Mumbai, four friends await the arrival of Jonathan, a man “greatly appreciated for his wit, his effervescence, and his indignation,” a man exiled from his home state. Through their conversations, we learn of the tumultuous life of Jonathan – how he single-handedly breaks up a matka den, disarms a rioting mob, charms a recovery agent, evades arrest at a drug-ridden rave party, and brightens up the lives of sex workers and their children. Jonathan has a solution for every crisis that strikes others, but not for his own dysfunctional family life. It is left to life then to resolve matters for him.

Drawing on the terse intensity of a play, the sparkling wit of a stand-up comedy, and the insights of a thought-provoking novel, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy reflects the triumph of a spirit that refuses to let up on humor and quick thinking in the face of intense personal adversity. It is a book about friendship, perseverance, family obligations, and duty. Most importantly, about life’s late but redeeming powers.

“What a delicious irony sits at the heart of Murzban F. Shroff’s Waiting for Jonathan Koshy: the central character is almost larger than life, having done the things we all might dream of doing to serve others in desperate situations; but in his own life, for his own welfare, he is, in many ways powerless. By magnifying the heroic, Shroff unflinchingly portrays our human vulnerability. Waiting for Jonathan Koshy is a fascinating reading experience from a deeply skilled writer.” – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winner

“Murzban Shroff’s kaleidoscopic image of Koshy’s passage through the complications of his journey offers a remarkably frank and revealing view of twenty-first century Indian life.” – Madison Smartt Bell, National Book Award Finalist.

About the Author

Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. He has published his fiction with over fifty journals in the U.S. and UK. Six of the stories have won a Pushcart Prize nomination; one has been the recipient of the John Gilgun Fiction Award. Shroff’s debut short story collection, BREATHLESS IN BOMBAY, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia. It was rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His novel, WAITING FOR JONATHAN KOSHY, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Shroff is a contributing editor to Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, a UK-based travel magazine. He can be contacted at murzbanfshroff@gmail.com


1) Saturday 7 October, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Eastwind Books of Berkeley. Readings from Waiting for Jonathan Koshy (novel). 

2) Tuesday 10 October, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Institute of South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley. Topic: From Diversity to Adversity: A Writer’s Journey Into the Unknown.

3) Thursday 12 October, 7:00 – 8.30 p.m at Cobalt Homes Club House at Santa Clara. Launch of Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, a postmodern Mumbai-based novel.

4) Friday 13 October, 5.30 p.m – 8.30 p.m. at Book Passage, Corte Madera. Panel discussion with Dr. Debotri Dhar, Founder of The Hummingbird Global Writers’ Circle. Theme: Steep Hills.


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