Diksha Basu '14 Publishes Novel The Windfall

BY Kristina Tate, July 3, 2017

Alumna Diksha Basu ‘14 has already had a big year. Back in March, her first novel, The Windfall, was optioned for television by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. She’s at work on her second novel, and she and her husband, Mikey McCleary, welcomed their baby girl, Sky Aria Basu-McCleary, two months ago. Last Sunday, The New York Times followed Basu and her family through their Brooklyn neighborhood to talk writing, infants, and India.


The cover of Diksha Basu's novel, The Windfall
The Windfall, by Diksha Basu


Since its release last week, The Windfall, has received much acclaim from outlets in the US and India, such as the New York Times, NPR, The Hindu, and the Deccan Chronicle.


The Windfall follows the lives of an Indian couple in Delhi who are suddenly catapulted from their humble middle-class lifestyle into massive wealth as a result of the sale of Mr. Jha’s website. When they leave their cozy yet claustrophobic home, where they raised their son, in East Delhi for a mansion in the prosperous, if not extravagant, suburb of Gurgaon, the family discovers what it means to be rich in modern India as they struggle to fit in.


As Basu said during her book launch at The Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn last week, “It is the job of fiction first and foremost to entertain.” Throughout The Windfall, we are certainly entertained. But we learn some things, too. According to a review in the New York Times, “For readers who know little about modern India and are beach-novel curious (but too embarrassed to buy one), “The Windfall” may be the right sort of summer refreshment, providing just enough substance to defy the second part of the “Seinfeld” rule — “No hugging, no learning.””


The Windfall is an excellent display of the effects of rapid economic growth on a city, and one family, in particular. Basu’s knack for witty dialogue and loveable but deeply flawed characters has us turning page after page, both cringing and laughing despite ourselves.


Her second book, it is rumored, will be a spinoff from The Windfall, so we aren’t done with these delightful characters yet.