Himani Dalmia is a writer. Her first novel Life is Perfect was published by Rupa & Co. in January 2009. Himani Dalmia was a member of the Times of India Edit Page for a year and wrote prolifically on culture and society.
Family and education
Dalmia lives in Delhi with her large joint family. She graduated with honours in English from St. Stephen's College and holds a Master's in South Asian Studies from the University of Oxford. Her writings have been published in newspapers, magazines and journals. In addition, she has been a student of Hindustani classical music in the style of the Patiala gharana since the age of six.
Himani Dalmia's father, VN Dalmia, is a leading Delhi-based businessman. Her mother, Nilanjana Dalmia, is an educationist. Himani is a scion of the Dalmia family, a large business family based mostly in Delhi. She is the grand daughter of pioneering industrialist Ramkrishna Dalmia. However, her family is also well known for its writers and academics, like-
- Manju Kapur Dalmia - author of Difficult Daughters, A Married Woman, Home and The Immigrant
- Yashodhara Dalmia - a leading art historian, author of Amrita Sher-Gill: A Life
- Vasudha Dalmia - Professor of Hindi at University of California, Berkeley
- Ila Dalmia - author of the Hindi novel Chhat par Aparna
- Sheela Dalmia Agarwal - Professor of Philosophy at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi
About Life is Perfect
Life is Perfect is a coming-of-age novel set in modern Delhi. It centers on the life of a young woman named Mitali Jaitia, who is extremely privileged in every way, blessed with youth, intelligence, money and beauty. Her life is as close to perfect as possible, representative of the near-perfect lives of the Delhi elite. Under the surface, life's realities hit Mitali hard.
Jaitia House, nestled in the lush, green avenues of Lutyens’ Delhi, is in gloom over the death of a young girl. As Mitali struggles to come to terms with her loss, the break-up of her parents’ marriage and her father’s many betrayals place her within a cycle of sin and redemption that the Jaitia family is crippled by. Poised on the threshold of adulthood, Mitali tries to find depth and meaning in the world around her. The fissures in her family lead her to question everything – love, friendship, faith, joy – and a neat solution seems impossible. But Mitali is determined to find her way through the chaos…
Life is Perfect is the story of a journey described in simple, evocative prose. Peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters and winding through colleges, cafes, parties and family dinners with great wit and sensitivity, it is a stunning portrait of modern life in Delhi today.
It is believed that Life is Perfect is semi-autobiographical, since Dalmia herself was born into a leading industrialist family in Delhi and grew up in a mansion on Lutyens' Delhi. However, the details of the novel and the precise experiences of its protagonist do seem largely fictionalised.
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