Udayan Mukherjee is the bestselling author of Dark Circles, which was widely reviewed and lauded.The book is a timely offering as we live through this pandemic, and will be relatable to a large audience.Udayan Mukherjee was born in Calcutta. For two decades, he was the face of the Indian financial markets, as anchor and Managing Editor of CNBC. He is the author of the novel Dark Circles, also published by Bloomsbury, and the crime novel A Death in the Himalayas. This is his third book.IT IS THE DREADFUL SUMMER OF THE 2020 PANDEMIC, AND INDIA IS IN LOCKDOWN. A British climber stranded in the Himalayan border town of Munsiyari forms a bond with his host's seven-year-old grandson. Two funeral workers at a Benaras ghat try to work their way out of the dwindling business of cremations. A domestic worker, sent on paid leave, grapples with the shifting landscape for people on the margins of an urban metropolis. Hundreds of returning migrant workers turn up unannounced at the gates of an erstwhile Rajbari in Kolkata in the wake of a devastating cyclone. In Essential Items, Udayan Mukherjee examines oft overlooked human attributes - resilience, faith, endurance - put to test by a pandemic-forced lockdown. Written in stark, minimalist prose, these poignant but darkly funny stories expose deep cracks in our societal structures, papered over by the myth of growing prosperity.Bestselling author Udayan Mukherjee weaves a colourful tapestry of lives under lockdown, and examines what happens when people are forced to confront their own mortality.A collection set to become a classic of epidemic literature.'Essential Items is as a beautifully crafted set of observations on the state of the nation during the difficult months of the lockdown in India.''One of few good things to come out of the dreadful summer of 2020, this collection of poignant lockdown fables from Udayan Mukherjee. A must read!''It poignantly reflects and honours the prevailing precariousness of our lives, as they continue to unfold while we vie to reach the finishing line, much like the characters. This not only heightens the quotient of 'relatability' in the stories, but also makes them oddly riveting, as you ruminate over where these people might be today.''...This is perhaps what makes Essential Items an essential read in this lockdown. Mukherjee seems to have taken our thoughts and put faces and pain and jubilation behind them, which have now come out as short stories which don't, for a second, feel didactic.''Essential Items and Other Tales From a Land in Lockdown by Udayan Mukherjee is a call to action for people to be kind to one another. The flow of one story into the next does take the reader on an emotional rollercoaster, but not one that is too jarring or confusing.'A truly gifted writer.'A powerful writer whose prose tugs at your heart strings.'