Muzaffarnagar, the infamous north Indian town that 's a byword for unrest, and where skirmishes are prone to break out ever so often. This is a place where teenage love and friendships are tested by the violence that threatens to spill out at the slightest provocation. A town that always pulls you back into its ways, no matter how cosmopolitan the city has made you.
In Diwali in Muzaffarnagar - Tanuj Solanki's new book of short stories after Neon Noon - young men and women straddle the past and the present, the metropolis and the small town, and also the parallel needs of life: solitude and family.
Intimacy and inevitable grief collide often in these haunting stories of kinship and frayed ties. Solanki writes with great sensitivity about women and men who circle around their roles in families and society, seeking identities that free them from the past, even as its hold on them remains insoluble. These are stories that ache with love, and brave the knowledge that only rarely does love transcend its attendant pain.- Sharanya Manivannan
Solanki not only surprises me with his craft and voice but also revives my interest in short stories. His observations are precise, his language lyrical and his style extremely pleasing. Diwali in Muzaffarnagar is not just another collection of well-written stories. It is a reminder that we have a goldmine of tales from which gifted writers like Solanki can bring us dazzling pieces. - Anees Salim
Solanki gradually opens a door into a fascinating world, putting to the sword patronizing myths about small-town India. - Prayaag Akbar
Solanki 's stories are brilliantly nuanced, that quintessential mofussil north Indian town - Muzaffarnagar, in this case - reflected in them with all its intimacy and prejudices. The small town is never romanticized, though, and there is an admirable matter-of-fact quality to how the stories progress and end. - Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
Tanuj Solanki 's first novel, Neon Noon, received critical acclaim post its release in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award. His short fiction has been published in the Caravan, Hindu Business Line, DNA, Out of Print, and several other publications. He lives in Mumbai with his wife.