Each of Us Killers

Stories woven at the intersection of labor and our emotional lives

A Foreword INDIES 2020 Book of the Year winner in the Short Stories Award Category and a finalist in the Multicultural Adult Fiction category.

One of the most anticipated debuts of 2020 at Electric Literature, Literary Hub, The Millions, Kirkus Reviews, Entropy Magazine, Debutiful, Ms. Magazine, Bustle. One of the best story collections of 2020 at Bustle and Largehearted Boy. One of the best collections of 2020 by Asian authors at Book Riot. Fiction bestseller at Small Press Distribution for July & August, September & October, November & December, January & February, and May. A story in The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021 anthology. Read press and interviews. Join events here.

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“But Bhatt always allows us to see the real want beneath the performance, the kindness and anxiety and lust, there, too.” ~Elizabeth McCracken, Electric Literature

“. . . effortlessly balancing a broad cast of diverse characters and voices . . .” ~Alafair Burke, introducing a story from Each of Us Killers selected for The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021

“. . . rich debut collection . . . memorable . . . a powerful expression of the hunger for success on one’s own terms.” ~Publishers Weekly

“A slim debut full of nuanced, clear-eyed tales of unvarnished humanity. […] A formally diverse collection with exquisitely crafted stories about longing, striving, and learning what we can control.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“Challenging assumptions, confronting power, manipulating barriers whenever possible–even at grave personal cost–Bhatt’s cast surprises, inspires, frightens, beguiles, but never disappoints.” ~Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“With this powerful, complex work, Bhatt should be launched into a wider readership that is fully deserved, and the literary world should rejoice in discovering a bright new star.” ~Dallas Morning News

Each of Us Killers is Jenny Bhatt’s debut book but you will feel that you have encountered this level of skill, craft, and complexity before in reading the masters of the short story genre— even while the author subverts what we so often encounter in the genre about notions of loss and lonely voices and who gets to tell their own stories.” ~Texas Public Radio

“Bhatt’s deliberate expansion of established tropes about Indians and the Indian diaspora deserves special accolades.” ~Leonard Prize 2020 Nominations, National Book Critics Circle

“. . . in each story Bhatt peels back shells of self-awareness, revealing understandings of the often subtle distinctions of gender, race, and family expectations that define and confine them.” ~The National Book Review

“. . . Bhatt gets under the skin of her characters with an ease that is difficult to achieve when creating characters beyond the pale of capital and caste. [. . .] using lively, sculpted language that avoids the stilted, literary English often afflicting Indian English writing.” ~The Hindu

“Built on a variety of literary techniques of plot, style, and voice—including the refreshing second-person singular and first-person plural—Bhatt’s stories effortlessly straddle class, caste, gender, and race divides spanning the US, England, and India.” ~Open The Magazine

“Taken together, [the stories] show Bhatt’s wide range, both in theme and style, and her ability to inhabit characters who couldn’t be more different from each other.” ~New York Journal of Books

“Interspersing loss and longing, survival and success, in an array of memories, shades, moods, dreams (at places of employment in particular) at the core of her narratives, Bhatt packs in a powerful compilation, rich in prose and poetry . . .” ~NRI Pulse

“Even though it is a debut collection, it brings a range of lived experience, experimentation, and stylistic variety, which announces a seasoned practitioner rather than a newcomer to fiction.” ~India Currents

“. . . a collection that is as important in the telling as in remembering the times we live in and the times to come.” ~The Hindu Business Line

“Another strength of Bhatt’s collection is its exploration of South Asian identity in the workplace through a wide lens instead of the traditional representations readers are accustomed to in literature and media.” ~Puerto del Sol

“Bhatt presents characters who are bound to their work, either by choice or circumstance, as they attempt to thwart societal expectations and break down barriers that stand in their way.” ~Phoebe Journal

“There is a vibrancy in viewing the work as a whole, an excitement to finishing a story and wondering what the next will bring. This all makes Each of Us Killers as compulsively readable as it is sharp, and as enjoyable as it is thought-provoking; in short, an accomplished and impressive debut.” ~Vagabond City

“In ‘Each of Us Killers’, the reader takes an excursion around the world, getting to interact with multiple voices, listening to the struggles of various characters and enjoying cultural details through the incredible use of language and literary techniques. While each story might be a sojourn, the entire collection is an enlightening voyage.” ~Platform Magazine

“We rarely think of a collection of short stories as being a ‘state of the nation’ work of fiction [. . .] and yet added together, that’s really what the Indian stories in this book amount to.” ~The Short Story (TSS) UK

“At its core, Each of Us Killers is a book about desire. Bhatt’s characters hunger for professional fulfillment, for a different world, and for each other. Their desire is resistance: in the face of hegemonic violence, in a world predicated on their erasure, Bhatt’s characters choose life.” ~Pleiades Magazine

“Her empathetic pursuit of understanding “through the lens of work,” as Bhatt puts it, facilitate not just the un-silencing of ideals, motivations, and vulnerabilities of her characters, but also help to contextualize the burdens they shoulder in environments and situations that may be familiar to us. In reading their stories and acquainting ourselves with their struggles, we thus understand how we may be more complicit in the lives they lead, and the deaths they endure, than we would like to think.” ~Singapore Unbound

“Jenny Bhatt’s gorgeous stories in Each of Us Killers remind me why I love to read a good book. It is such a pleasure to be immersed in the worlds of her characters, in their hunger for love or money, and in their local and global struggles to live. With mouth-watering detail, Bhatt serves up a rich and varied feast.” ~Devi S. Laskar, author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues

“The potent stories in this collection evoke the complexities of a shifting, multilingual world with great precision. Bhatt moves between countries and realities with tremendous skill and insight.” ~ Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

“In a series of thrilling, beautiful stories, Jenny Bhatt moves through the moods, thoughts, subversions involved in the experience of interracial relationships, East-West communications, theft, justice, migration. The collection works brilliantly both as an evocative amalgam of insightful observations about race, class, gender, aspirations, as well as on the sentence level. Bhatt writes, “polish it carefully, till it glitters with the hope of a false diamond and refracts your stark life into a spectrum of luminous rays, lighting up the darkness briefly”–referring to a character’s particular memory, but could just as well be referring to the collection as a whole.” ~Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of White Dancing Elephants

“In Each of Us Killers, Jenny Bhatt excavates her characters with incisiveness, nuance, and complexity. The cast of vibrant characters in this wonderful collection is absolutely unique and memorable.” ~Karen E. Bender, author of The New Order

“This is a gorgeous collection. Bhatt weaves together, with the lightest touch, profound themes—work, ambition, displacement, class, and gender, and so much more. Her plots are beautifully rendered and her scope vast; her characters and her settings come to life on the page. These stories are full of bitter heartbreak with a measure of joy—a wonderful collection from a hugely talented writer.” ~Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State

“These stories are filled with wisdom and compassion, bristling with dark occurrences and gleaming with quiet moments of joy: an enriching collection.” ~Mahesh Rao, author of Polite Society

“Moving, haunting stories that explore a wide range of complex social inequities and yet share an undercurrent of a deep and very human kind of longing.” ~Aatif Rashid, author of Portrait of Sebastian Khan

“Sex, death, redemption, betrayal—this collection has it all, from the sordid to the divine. Bhatt’s vivid imagination and well-voiced characters will take you on a ride you won’t soon forget.” ~Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People’s History of Heaven

Each of Us Killers offers up a complex portrait of our times. From caste-based violence to domestic power play, from yoga to the under-seam of real-estate development, Bhatt uses a dozen devices to examine the lives of people around us, the choices that define them and, ultimately, our selves.” ~Annie Zaidi, author of Unbound, 2000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing

“Ambitious, sensitive, this collection locates some essential Indian truths, especially its hidden violence.” ~Prayaag Akbar, author of Leila