by Pranaya SJB Rana

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-3728-9
  2. Pages: 200 pages
  3. Date: October 2015


Buildings, roads and bridges made up the city, Kanti knew that. So did trees, rivers and hills. But he had never quite thought about people. He was told that they, too, were integral parts of a metropolis; if Kathmandu were an organism, people were its red blood cells, navigating busily through road-veins and street-arteries.
City of Dreams is set in the multifaceted, fast-changing Nepali capital, Kathmandu. And through a series of deftly woven short stories, it exposes the interaction of city-dwellers with this teeming, schizophrenic metropolis, caught in the tussle between tradition and modernity.
In the title story, a Kathmandu native wanders the streets of his hometown and encounters a deep secret. In ‘The Presence of God’, a couple bickers about faith and ambivalence, only to be confronted with an event so inexplicable that it changes the very foundations of their argument. In ‘Dashain’ a young man’s attempt to leap into adulthood goes horribly awry. And in ‘The Smoker’—the only story set outside Kathmandu, in New York City—a writer begins his quest to craft the perfect narrative; yet, even here, the Nepali city is a shadowy presence.
As Kathmandu becomes the protagonist of the collection, what we see emerge is not just the skeletal outline of the metropolis, a cartographer’s map, but a capital of stories. City of Dreams is one of the most startling literary debuts in recent times.


Pranaya SJB Rana is sometimes a writer, sometimes an editor, oftentimes both. He has worked as a journalist and editor for The Kathmandu Post and Nepali Times. He lives in Kathmandu and listens to hip hop.