The Windfall (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Diksha Basu's debut novel, "The Windfallm" is a delightful, warm-hearted comedy of manners that explores class, wealth, culture and love.

Mr. and Mrs. Jha have lived a modest life in a crowded apartment building in Delhi, India, for the past 30 years. Then, unexpectedly, the Jhas find themselves enormously wealthy after Mr. Jha sells the website he has been working on privately for many years. He decides to move his wife across town to an ultra-affluent neighborhood where he is overly eager to fit in.

Mrs. Jha is less enthusiastic about the move to a place where one never sees his or her neighbors and each house requires a guard to open and close the gate once per day. She understands her husband's desire to make a better life and does her best to adjust and engage with the moneyed, but rather dull, people next door.

Meanwhile, their only son, Rupak, is halfheartedly working on his MBA at Ithaca College in New York. It is not quite Cornell but is located in the same town, nonetheless, which Mr. Jha never hesitates to point out. Rupak is in love with a blond-haired, blue-eyed American girl named Elizabeth, whom he knows will never win his parents' approval, since, after all, she is most decidedly not Indian and therefore not suitable for marriage into the Jha family.

This is really a story about meeting the expectations of others, or rather, what we think others expect of us, versus what is truly in our hearts.

— From Book Reviews: Debut Novels offer heartwarming reading


A People Pick
Entertainment Weekly's Must-List
A TIME Magazine Pick
Rolling Stone's Culture Index Pick
One of Esquire's Best 30 Books of 2017

" A] charming satire...What Kevin Kwan did for rich people problems, Diksha Basu does for trying-to-be-rich-people problems."

A heartfelt comedy of manners, Diksha Basu's debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to "make it" in modern India.

For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha's lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they'd settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son's acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters. Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and charm the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere.

About the Author

Diksha Basu is a writer and occasional actor. Originally from New Delhi, India, she holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and now divides her time between New York City and Mumbai.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780451498915
ISBN-10: 0451498917
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English