Praise

What links Sonal Kohli’s beautiful, perspicacious stories is an aspirational India informed by historical and economic change. Sonal is very shrewd when it comes to grasping her characters’ desires and failings, and also the subtle ways in which their decisions are either enabled or thwarted by their history and by new opportunities. She has a way of absorbing the reader in her world, and also revealing very delicately how that world is surprising, unexpected, and in flux. I think the strength of many of her stories lies in the way that they are about very little, and about ordinary people, so that the interregnum described seems to capture something that’s vital but only partly perceptible from a distance. ~Amit Chaudhuri

In quietly ambitious prose, Sonal Kohli charts the turbulent three decades of a ‘rising’ India. The House Next to the Factory is one of the very rare fictions to examine the immense human costs – profound emotional and psychological disorientations – that the Indian bourgeoisie has paid for its material success. ~Pankaj Mishra


Sonal Kohli tells all the truth slant and the result is a very fine collection of stories about a set of seemingly commonplace lives whose patterns and rhythms convince the reader that there is an alleviating charm, perhaps even hope for redemption, in the subdued and careful noticing of the ordinary. ~Anjum Hasan

Here is a fully realized world with many vivid characters observed with sensitivity and grace. And the storytelling is utterly immersive. One of the most pleasurable works of fiction I’ve read in a long time. ~Chandrahas Choudhury


Thoughtful, delicate and wide-ranging, The House Next to the Factory is a paean to quiet lives everywhere and a testament to the often-overlooked power of the ordinary. ~Madhuri Vijay


In prose that is spare yet astutely detailed, Kohli evokes entire lives through just a few deft strokes. Finely-hewn, these stories carry a lingering effect. ~Sharanya Manivannan