2023 Publications

2023 Publications

Here is, for any interested readers, or for anyone considering for awards, is all my work published in 2023:

The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar (Subterranean Press)

Cover art for my novella The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar, by Tran Nguyen. A painting of an androgynous figure of uncertain gender in elaborate, brightly patterned robes and jewellery, a veil over their face, stroking the long neck of a dragon enfolding them in its wings, its skin and scales white and violet, reminiscent of a flower's petals.

My second book, the novella The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar, was published in June 2023 by Subterranean Press, available in a limited, signed and numbered hardcover as well as a much more affordable ebook edition that’s accessible worldwide. The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar is an uncategorisable (I call it mythic realist sometimes) story about Ru, a ‘boy from nowhere’ growing up in ’90s and ’00s Calcutta, and facing the impossibility that his extended family might be extradimensional refugees from another reality that have settled in the multicultural Indian city that is now their ‘home’. Adrift, Ru finds an anchor in Alice, a neighbor from the nearby Chinatown who is pulled who is pulled closer to his family’s secrets.

At Locus OnlineGary K. Wolfe calls it ‘a gorgeously written novella which is part coming-of-age tale, part love letter to fantasy, part family mystery, and part elegantly understated fable of identity…also a fine example of what novellas do best: invoking the magic, but keeping a clear focus on the story while leaving a fair amount of the detail up to us.’

For Seize The Press magazine, Shinjini Dey calls the book ‘a narrative  about how memory draws you in but also betrays you, about the difference between belief and truth, and about memory’s stake in creating reality’, and adds that its ‘greatest feat’ is ‘[that] by rendering all memory as shaky, the novel makes the possibility of dragons absolutely real.’

The Middle Shelf calls it ‘a mesmerising…coming-of-age novella unlike any other’ with ‘a pervasive and beautiful melancholy infusing every page, the promise of a truth that you never quite grasp and eludes you, shining ahead.’

At Bookish Brews, Inosh K. Rukman writes ‘Indra Das’ writing is impossibly beautiful. It makes me want to believe the impossible, to touch reality, and to trust in his imagination…I felt seen for the first time as a South Asian nonbinary person who belongs nowhere.’

Runalong the Shelves calls it ‘wonderfully human, bittersweet and heart-warming’.

KJ Charles writes that it is ‘a delightful, strange, beautifully written novella about a boy whose family are…not from here. Dragons. Memories. Strangeness. It’s unclassifiable and lovely and queer and entirely absorbing.’

The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar is a novella for adults, inspired by my oneiric wanderings, my home city, the many works of fantasy I’ve read and watched, including the anime of Studio Ghibli’s storytellers and of Makoto Shinkai. You can get it here or at other online retailers (included is an excerpt from the novella, and an interview with me about the book by Arley Sorg, a most thoughtful and wonderful interviewer): https://subterraneanpress.com/tldob/

As Wayward Sisters, Hand in Hand (The Book of Witches) (Harper Voyager)

Art by Alyssa Winan of the cover of the anthology The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan., showing a witch in a pointed hat standing over a cauldron steaming like green fire in a forest lit in purples. White text overlaid with the title and editor.

My short story ‘As Wayward Sisters, Hand in Hand’ was published in the anthology The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan and published by Harper Voyager. A bittersweet tale of two roommates at a Pennsylvania liberal arts college in the ’00s, one an Indian international student and the other a local white practitioner of old, wild magics long fading from the world. Just one of many wonderful stories by a coven of excellent writers, all beautifully illustrated by Alyssa Winan. This is, I suppose, another coming of age tale for grownups, as I seem haunted by fictional retrospective, of the way lives take on a life of their own in memory and narrative. A story at least somewhat touched by Gregg Araki’s work, though perhaps not as transgressive : ) You can get The Book of Witches here, or at other online retailers: www.harpercollins.com/products/the-book-of-witches-jonathan-strahan

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