Kavita A. Jindal


India, 1996. Waheeda, a principled and spirited young woman from Uttar Pradesh sets her sights on becoming a member of Parliament. But her romance with the scion of a Delhi business dynasty threatens that dream. Manual for a Decent Life plays out against the backdrop of a tumultuous time in Indian politics in a world where nothing is what it seems and danger lurks at every turn.

Paperback publication date: October 2020
Price: £9.99
978-1-8380603-8-1 MFDL paperback
978-1-8380603-9-8 MFDL digital

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About this book

An ambitious novel of both epic and intimate proportions as Jindal moves seamlessly between domestic family scenes, the passion of an illicit love affair and the instability of political parties vying for power at any cost. The fast-paced, plot-driven drama unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of India in the 1990s. The writing is accomplished, the story is thrilling with a bombshell of an ending.

About the author

Kavita A. Jindal is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in anthologies and literary journals worldwide and been broadcast on BBC Radio. She is the author of two poetry books: Patina and Raincheck Renewed. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani writers’ collective. Manual for a Decent Life was the 2018 winner of the Brighthorse Prize for the Novel.

Additional information

Book Type

E-Book, Paperback


This stunning crisply paced novel reveals its interwoven themes and storylines in social-realistic style. Manual For a Decent Life is excitingly ambitious, exploring dilemmas around politics, gender and sex at a fascinating moment in Indian history.
– Michele Roberts, author of the Booker-Prize-shortlisted Daughters of the House.

The rapid pace of the plot makes for edge-of-seat excitement.
– Saleem Peeradina, author of Heart’s Beast:New and Selected Poems.

A compelling novel that is impossible to put down.
– Manju Kapur, author of Difficult Daughters.

A heart-searching novel with a wide sweep. Its themes of Indian family, female identity and power struggles are of contemporary significance.
– Russell Celyn Jones, author of The Ninth Wave.