Beautiful Thing

Sonia Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met Leela, a beautiful and charismatic bar dancer with a story to tell. Leela introduced Sonia to the underworld of Bombay's dance bars: a world of glamorous women, of fierce love, sex and violence, of customers and gangsters, of 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 them, she fights to survive, and to win.

Book of the Year: The Guardian, The Observer, The Economist, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN Mumbai Book of the Year, Time Out Subcontinental Book of the Year, Sunday Times Travel Book of 2011, NPR Five Great Travel Memoirs of 2012, Kirkus Best Nonfiction of 2012, Newsweek's Books You Shouldn't Miss in 2012.

'An intimate and valuable piece of reportage that will break your heart several times over.'

The New York Times

'A tour de force of reportage, whose depth, insight and resonance make it the equal of the best fiction.'

The Sunday Times

'A meticulous, moving account of the battle for social mobility and personal freedom in Mumbai.'

The Sunday Telegraph


The Guardian

'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

'A tour-de-force of heartrending reportage.'

The Independent

'Beautiful Thing is so compelling that it invites from us the question of exactly what might constitute genius in non-fiction.'

The National

'Excellent and indelible.'

The San Francisco Chronicle

'A profoundly original and surprising book.'

The New Republic