In Smog City, a magic realist version of Bombay, a young woman called Kari watches her lover, Ruth, standing on the ledge of a building opposite her. As Ruth steps off the ledge, so does Kari. And so begins Amruta Patil’s strange, compelling debut novel.

Both live, but are separated forever. Ruth leaves the city, while Kari, who has landed in a sewer, returns to her life – a career in advertising and a house shared with her raucous friends.

She befriends a dying woman, and, when the time comes, endures the pain and heartbreak of that connection. Somewhere along the way, she loses her discomfort with herself. Inch by inch, she comes to accept who she is.

Part-bildungsroman, part-urban fantasy, Kari blazed a trail in the world of Indian graphic fiction, while Amruta Patil, who wrote, drew, painted and lettered the book became known as India’s first woman graphic novelist. The book was nominated for the Shakti Bhatt First Book award.

Published in 2008.