In 1935, Zainab Essanji wants to break out of her restricted life and be part of the independence movement. But it seems that all she is destined to do is embroider and wait to get married. In 2019, Zainab Currimji, class XI student, is unhappy at getting drawn into debates and controversies which she would rather not be part of. But in India of 2019, how can one not be drawn into these? In this deeply addictive, sweeping book about the life and times of the two Zainabs, is captured a short history of Mumbai, and of India. Of what we were and what we have become. Zipping between the past and the present, between midnight's children and millennials and getting both right, Shabnam Minwalla has crafted a page-turner whose heart is open, inclusive and populated by a host of memorable characters. -Jerry Pinto
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1 May 2023
Shabnam Minwalla is a mother of three teenagers, an ardent saree-shopper and a Mumbai-holic. She has spent most of her life with words-editing her school magazine, working as a journalist with the Times of India and writing non-fiction. What she most enjoys, though, is writing fiction. Many of her books for children and young adults-including When Jiya Met Urmila, Saira Zariwala is Afraid, Murder at Daisy Apartments and The Six Spellmakers of Dorabji Street-have won prestigious awards. Her non-fiction book on the Mumbai Neighbourhood of Colaba is very popular. Shabnam was a student at St Xavier's College in Mumbai and got her MA in Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She was a Chevening Scholar at Wolfson College in Cambridge.