"It is useless to describe the pathos and singular power of this book. Beautiful Thing is, quite, simply, one of the finest books on Bombay ever written."The Spectator (UK)
"A gripping and intimate portrayal of the lives of the women who work in [India's sex industry]. She manages to evoke shock, rage, and laughter. . . . The book is a moving testament to girls who deal with the brutal hand fate has dealt them by capitalizing on the gifts they do have: beauty, an inner strength, and each other."Literary Review (UK)
Already published in India
to great acclaim and named a Time Out
Subcontinental Book of the Year and an Observer
Book of the Year, Beautiful Thing
is a stunning piece of reportage that offers a rare firsthand glimpse into Bombay
’s notorious sex industry.
Sonia Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met nineteen-year- old Leela, a charismatic exotic dancer. Leela introduced Sonia to the underworld of Bombay
’s dance bars: a world of glamorous women; of fierce love, sex, and violence; of gangsters, police, prostitutes, and pimps. When an ambitious politician cashed in on a tide of false morality and had Bombay
’s dance bars wiped out, Leela’s proud independence faced its greatest test. In a city where almost everyone is certain that someone, somewhere, is worse off than he is, Leela fights to surviveand to win.
Sonia Faleiro has crafted one of the most original works of nonfiction about India
in recent years. Unforgettable for its artistry and intimacy, Beautiful Thing
is a vivid portrait of one reporter’s journey into the dark, damaged soul of Bombay