Bristol Type 130 Bombay

Bristol Type 130 Bombay

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Bristol Type 130 Bombay

The Bristol Bombay was a combination of a transport aircraft and a bomber that was developed to serve with RAF squadrons in the Middle East. Partly because of its duel purpose and partly because of the time it took to develop, the Bombay was effectively obsolescent by the time it entered service in 1939, but it did perform some useful service in the Middle East during the Second World War.

The Bombay was first designed to fulfil Air Ministry Specification C.26/31 which called for a replacement for the Vickers Valentia. The new aircraft would have to perform as a troop carrier, a cargo carrier and a long range bomber. Two years passed before Bristol received a contract to produce a prototype (March 1933) and the first prototype would not fly for another two years, taking to the air on 23 June 1935.

Bristol was awarded a production contract for fifty aircraft under Specification 47/36. The aircraft themselves were produced by Short Brothers & Harland, as Bristol’s factories were busy building the Blenheim. A new government owned factory was built to produce the Bombay, causing further delay, and the first of the production aircraft did not appear until March 1939.

By the time it appeared the Bombay looked outdated. It was a high winged twin engined monoplane with a fixed undercarriage. Even by the standards of 1939 it was under-armed, carrying two 0.303in machine guns in single gun nose and tail turrets. It was a clear advance over the Vickers Valentia, a rather outdated biplane troop transport plane that had itself only entered service in 1934. Although they had the same bomb load (2,200lb) and could carry almost the same number of troops, the Valentia could only reach a top speed of 120mph, compared to the 192mph of the Bombay.

The main user of the Bristol Bombay was No. 216 Squadron in Egypt, which received its first Bombays in October 1939, and retained them until June 1943. At first the squadron operated the Bombay purely as a bomber, retaining the Valentia as a transport. The Bombay took part in the Libyan campaign of 1940, being used as a bomber from June 1940 until the end of the year. It was then replaced as a bomber by the Wellington, but remained in use as a transport aircraft until 1943.

Two more Middle Eastern squadrons used the Bombay for short periods. No. 267 Squadron operated a small number of Bombays as transport aircraft between August 1940 and August 1942. No. 117 Squadron borrowed four Bombays from No. 216 squadron between April and November 1941, using them for long range flights from Khartoum, one of the final staging points on the aircraft supply route that led from West Africa to Egypt.

No. 271 Squadron was the only unit to operate the Bombay in Britain. It was reformed in May 1940, with a number of Bombays, which it then used to help evacuate British troops from France. Its Bombays were withdrawn by the end of June 1940.


Crew: Three plus 24 troops as transport
Engines: Two Bristol Pegasus XXII
Horsepower: 1,010hp each
Span: 95ft 9in
Length: 69ft 3in
Max speed: 192mph at 6,500ft
Cruising Speed: 160mh at 10,000ft
Ceiling: 25,000ft
Range: 880 miles, 2,230 miles with extra fuselage fuel tanks
Armament: Two 0.303in Vickers “K” guns in one gun nose and tail turrets
Bomb load: 2,000lb

Bristol Bombay

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Bristol Aeroplane Company

Baronet George White, Chairman of The Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, instantly recognised the business potential of aviation after a chance meeting with Wilbur Wright in France in 1909.

White soon recognised that such a risky venture as aviation would need its own facilities and business identity and so, in conjunction with his brother Samuel and his son Stanley, he established The British and Colonial Aeroplane Company in a former Tram Shed at Filton, near Bristol, on 19th February 1910.

Later that year, a Flying School was established at Brooklands Race Track (the centre of all British aviation activity at the time) and this was soon joined by another school at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain &ndash suddenly, there was a change in flying interests which moved from having the same take-off and landing venue to a point-to-point adventure.

British and Colonial Aeroplane Company then set about manufacturing its own design and the Bristol Boxkite biplane took to the air on 20th July 1910. All British and Colonial aircraft were designated as 'Bristol Type' and plans for the Boxkite were created in 7 days and 78 aircraft were built between 1910 - 1914 with many examples being purchased by the War Office.

The thirteenth Bristol Boxkite (No 12A) at Durdham Down.

Throughout World War I the company supplied Scouts to the Royal Naval Air Service and Bristol Fighters to the Royal Flying Corps. Other successful military types followed and by the end of the war the company were employing over 3,000 people.

In 1920, the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company was liquidated and the company renamed Bristol Aeroplane Company. Additionally at this time, and after growing pressure from the Air Ministry, the company bought the failing aero-engine division of Cosmos Engineering Company. Cosmos was based in the Bristol suburb of Fishponds and a good working relationship had previously existed between the two companies. Eventually, the newly formed division showed a profit becoming a leader in the supply of air-cooled radial engines.

Playing a significant role during World War II Bristol Aeroplane Company supplied Beaufighter, Blenheim and Beaufort aircraft to the RAF. A shadow factory was set up in Weston-Super-Mare during 1940 which eventually became home to the Bristol helicopter business before eventually being taken over by Westland in 1960.

The post-war era saw Bristol Aeroplane Company involved in a renaissance of the British civilian aircraft industry, inspired by the Brabazon Committee Report of 1949. In response to the report Bristol created the Brabazon airliner prototype, at the time the world&rsquos largest aircraft. Sadly the project proved ill-conceived with little interest from civil or military users and so it was abandoned to concentrate on the Britannia.

In 1949, and at the request of the UK government, the joint Bristol / Ferranti Bloodhound Project was developed and at the time it was the RAF&rsquos only long-range, transportable surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile. The business has undergone a number of changes and is represented today as Matra - BAE Dynamics - Alenia (MBDA).

Other post-war projects included Bristol Cars who produced vehicles based upon pre-war BMW designs which were built at Patchway, Bristol. Production was small by comparison to aircraft manufacture and the automotive business was divested in 1960 upon the amalgamation of the parent company into British Aircraft Corporation. At its head of the resulting motor company was the founder&rsquos son, Sir George Stanley White.

When it was decided to seperate the major operations of the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1956, they became Bristol Aircraft Limited and Bristol Aero Engines, with their Headquarters at Filton House.

Filton House became the headquarters of Bristol Aeroplane Company during the 1930's

In 1958, Bristol Aero Engines was merged with Armstrong Siddeley to form Bristol Siddeley before finally being purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1966.

Bristol Aeroplane Company remained a key UK aircraft manufacturer until finally merged into British Aircraft Corporation in 1960.


The Bristol Bombay stemmed from Air Ministry Specification C26/31 which called for a transport aircraft also capable of being use as a bomber. The prototype Bristol 130 first flew on 23rd June 1935 and an order was placed shortly there after for 50 machines to be known as the Bombay under Specification 47/36. For a variety of reasons, production was delayed and it was not until October 1939 that the aircraft entered service with No 216 Squadron in Egypt.

Powered by 2 x Bristol Pegasus XXII radial engines of 1,010 hp, the Bombay had a fixed undercarriage and was woefully lacking in armament with but a single .303 in Vickers K machine gun in each of the nose and tail turrets. It could accommodate 24 troops or 10 stretchers or, alternatively, carry a load of 8 x 250 lb bombs held on fuselage racks. It was also used for deploying 20 lb anti-personnel mines, armed and tossed out of the cargo door by hand.

No 216 Squadron operated the Bombay as a bomber in the Libyan Campaign of 1940 and thereafter as a transport. Two other Middle East units, Nos 267 and 117 Squadrons used the aircraft in the air transport and casualty evacuation roles at various times between 1940 and 1943. Of note is that on 2nd May 1941, No 216 Squadron evacuated the Greek Royal Family from Crete to Egypt and in July 1943 a single Bombay crew was credited with flying 6,000 wounded troops out of Sicily. No 1 Air Ambulance Unit of the Royal Australian Air Force also operated the aircraft in the Mediterranean Theatre. The only UK-based unit to operate the Bombay was No 271 squadron, reformed to assist in the evacuation of British troops from France between May and June 1940.

The Bristol Bombay was retired in 1944. A total of 50 machines were built and there are no known survivors.

El Bristol Bombay se construyó de acuerdo con la Especificación C.26/31 del Ministerio del Aire, que requería un bombardero monoplano para reemplazar al biplano Vickers Tipo 264 Valentia en uso en el Oriente Medio y la India. Se requirió que la aeronave fuera capaz de transportar 24 soldados o su carga equivalente como transporte, y también pudiera transportar bombas y armamento defensivo para usarlo como bombardero. Este concepto de diseño de doble propósito era común en los diseños británicos anteriores a la guerra. Otros candidatos para la especificación fueron los Armstrong Whitworth A.W.23 y Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow .

El Bristol Tipo 130, era un monoplano de ala alta cantilever y de construcción completamente metálica. El último diseño de Bristol de un monoplano, el Bristol Bagshot de 1927, había sufrido de falta de rigidez torsional en las alas que conducían a la reversión del alerón. Esto llevó a un extenso programa de investigación en Bristol que resultó en un diseño de ala con un revestimiento de metal estresado remachado a un marco interno que consistía en múltiples mástiles y las costillas. Esta fue la base del ala de Bombay, que tenía siete largueros de acero de alta resistencia. El avión tenía una cola bideriva y un tren de rodaje fijo.

La tripulación consistía en un piloto, que estaba sentado en una cabina cerrada, navegante/bombardero, cuya posición de trabajo estaba en el morro, y un operador de radio/artillero, que dividió su tiempo entre la radio detrás de la cabina y una torreta en el morro. Cuando el avión fue operado como un bombardero, llevaba un artillero adicional en la posición de una torreta en la cola. En el prototipo, estas posiciones estaban equipadas con una única ametralladora Lewis en un anillo Scarff , pero en las aeronaves de producción, ambas eran torretas accionadas hidráulicamente armadas con ametralladoras Vickers K además, podían transportarse ocho bombas de 113 kg en soportes debajo del fuselaje.

Se ordenó un prototipo Tipo 130 en marzo de 1933 que voló por primera vez el 23 de junio de 1935, impulsado por dos motores radiales Bristol Pegasus III de 690 hp (515 kW) que impulsaban hélices de bipalas. Las pruebas de vuelo tuvieron éxito y se realizó un pedido de 80 aviones en julio de 1937. Diferían del prototipo en estar propulsados por los más potentes Bristol Pegasus XXII 750 kW (1.010 hp) con hélices de paso variable tripalas Rotol Airscrews , descartando los carenados instalados en las ruedas principales del tren de rodaje en el prototipo. Como la fábrica Bristol de Filton estaba completamente ocupada construyendo el Blenheim que era más urgente, los aviones de producción fueron construidos por Short & Harland de Belfast . Sin embargo, la complejidad del diseño del ala causó retrasos y el primer ejemplar no se entregó hasta marzo de 1939 y los últimos treinta se cancelaron.

El primer Bombay de producción voló en marzo de 1939, con entregas al 216º escuadrón de la RAF con sede en Egipto a partir de septiembre de ese año. Aunque fue superado como bombardero para el teatro europeo, vio algún servicio con el 271º escuadrón con sede de la Fuerza Expedicionaria Británica reformado para ayudar en la evacuación de las tropas británicas de Francia entre mayo y junio de 1940. En junio de 1940, el piloto francés Jean -Francois Demozay tomó prestado un Bombay abandonado para transportarse él mismo y 15 de Francia a Inglaterra, después de lo cual se convirtió en un as de la RAF. El servicio principal del Bombay fue en Medio Oriente, particularmente con el 216º Escuadrón, que operó la mayoría de los Bombay construidos en algún momento. Cuando comenzó la guerra con Italia en junio de 1940, en ausencia de aviones más modernos, los aviones del 216º squadrón se usaron como bombarderos nocturnos, así como en su papel principal como aviones de transporte. El lanzamiento de bombas de 110 kg bajo el fuselaje se complementó con bombas improvisadas lanzadas desde la puerta de carga a mano. El avión realizó bombardeos nocturnos contra objetivos en el Desierto Occidental, incluidos Bengasi y Tobruk , y contra la Somalia Italiana , hasta que la acumulación de bombarderos Vickers Wellington en Egipto permitió a los Bombay concentrarse en las operaciones de transporte. La Unidad de Ambulancia Aérea No 1 de la Real Fuerza Aérea Australiana también operó el avión en el Teatro Mediterráneo con base en Egipto.

Transportaron suministros y evacuaron a los heridos durante el Sitio de Tobruk . Cabe destacar que el 2 de mayo de 1941, el 216º Escuadrón evacuó a la Familia Real griega de Creta a Egipto. Más tarde ese mes, el Bombay jugó un papel importante en el transporte de tropas durante la Guerra Anglo-Iraquí. Este avión fue adaptado por el Special Air Service (SAS) para el entrenamiento de salto en paracaídas en el Medio Oriente en 1941. Cinco de estos aviones fueron utilizados por el SAS en su primera y única misión paracaidista en el desierto occidental la noche del 17 de noviembre de 1941. La operación consintió en un ataque a cinco aeródromos avanzados enemigos en Timini y Gazala antes de la ofensiva del general Auchinleck . Debido a las tormentas de polvo, las tropas aerotransportadas se dejaron caer en el lugar equivocado y la operación fue un completo fracaso. A partir de entonces el SAS realizó sus incursiones de penetración en vehículos. Durante la Invasión aliada de Sicilia de 1943 evacuó a más de 2.000 soldados heridos.

El teniente general William Gott , el oficial británico de más alto rango fallecido durante la guerra, murió cuando el Bombay en el que viajaba fue derribado en el desierto occidental el 7 de agosto de 1942. Estaba a punto de relevar en el mando al general Claude Auchinleck como comandante del Octavo Ejército británico . Su muerte, llevó al nombramiento del teniente general Bernard Law Montgomery en su lugar.

    • Unidad de ambulancia aérea n° 1 RAAF
    • Real Fuerza Aérea británica
      • No. 117 Squadron RAF - Se formó a partir del C Flight del Escuadrón 216 en abril de 1941 y usó el Bombay hasta noviembre de 1941 en Jartum
      • No. 216 Squadron RAF - Desde octubre de 1939 hasta mayo de 1943 con sede en Egipto (Heliópolis, El Khnaka y El Cairo Oeste)
      • No. 271 Squadron RAF - Desde mayo de 1940 hasta febrero de 1941 en la RAF Doncaster, Inglaterra

      Referencia datos: Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. 1994 ISBN 0-85177-861-5

      Buy ‘Weapons of War Bombers & Transport Aircraft 1939-1945.’

      But the most extensive use of transport-bombers in recent years has been in Africa. Beginning in the early 1990s, primarily Soviet-designed transports—colloquially known as “Antonov bombers”—have waged a little-known and particularly bloody war in Sudan.

      Initially, the Sudanese air force dropped Soviet-made bombs from the rear ramps of An-12 and An-26 transports. Later, Khartoum resorted to locally-made bombs—typically fuel drums filled with explosives and shrapnel.

      Most remarkably, Sudan hired civilian operators—both local and foreign—who used the aircraft against the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army. On several occasions, the Antonov bombers attacked humanitarian relief centers.

      It seems unlikely that Russia’s Il-76s will see combat in their bombing role anytime soon—not least because they are far more important as the backbone of the armed forces’ air assault capability.

      But the very fact that the Kremlin is putting the planes through their paces for offensive missions indicates the transport-bomber concept still generates interest, even if they’re only a last resort.

      Le Bristol Bombay a été construit pour répondre à l'appel d'offres Air Ministry Specification C.26/31 (en) qui demandait un bombardier-transport monoplan pour remplacer le Vickers Valentia biplan utilisé dans le Moyen-Orient et en Inde. L'avion devait pouvoir transporter 24 soldats ou une charge équivalente en cargaison comme un transport, et emporter des bombes et armes défensives comme un bombardier [ 1 ] . Ce concept d'avion à double finalité était commun aux designs britanniques d'avant-guerre. D'autres concurrents pour cette spécification étaient l'Armstrong Whitworth A.W. 23 et le Handley Page HP.51 (en) [ 2 ] .

      La conception de Bristol, le Type 130, était un monoplan aile haute cantilever de construction tout en métal [ 1 ] . La dernière conception monoplan de Bristol, le Bagshot 1927, avait souffert d'un manque de rigidité en torsion des ailes menant à l'inversion de l'aileron [ 3 ] . Cela a conduit à un vaste programme de recherche chez Bristol qui a abouti à une conception d'aile avec un revetement métallique rivée à un cadre interne composé de plusieurs longerons et des nervures. Ce fut la base de l'aile du Bombay, qui avait sept longerons, avec des poutrelles en acier de haute résistance et revetement en Alclad. L'avion avait un double empennage, un train fixe et une roulette de queue [ 4 ] .

      L'équipage de l'avion se composait d'un pilote, qui était assis dans un cockpit fermé, un navigateur/bombardier, dont la position de travail était dans le nez, et un opérateur radio/mitrailleur, qui partage son temps entre la position de l'opérateur radio derrière le poste de pilotage et une tourelle dans le nez. Lorsque l'avion était utilisé comme un bombardier, un artilleur supplémentaire opérait la mitrailleuse arrière. Dans le prototype, cette position était équipé d'une mitrailleuse Lewis sur un affût Scarff. Sur les avions de production, les deux positions de tir étaient des tourelles à commande hydraulique armées d'une seule mitrailleuses Vickers K. Huit bombes de 250 livres (110 kg ) pourraient être emportées sur des supports sous le fuselage [ 5 ] , [ 4 ] , [ 1 ] .

      Le premier Bombay de production de a volé en mars 1939, les livraisons au n o 216 Squadron RAF basé en Égypte ont commencé en septembre [ 8 ] . Bien que surclassé comme un bombardier sur le théâtre européen, il a servi avec le 271 Escadron basé en Grande-Bretagne pour le transport de fournitures à la Force expéditionnaire britannique en France en 1940 [ 7 ] , [ 8 ] . En juin 1940, le pilote français Jean-François Demozay a emprunté un Bombay abandonné pour aller avec 15 autres français en Angleterre, après quoi il est devenu un as de la RAF [ 9 ] .

      Le Bombay servait principalement au Moyen-Orient, en particulier avec le 216 Squadron, qui exploitait la plupart des Bombays construits. Lorsque la guerre avec l'Italie a commencé en juin 1940, en l'absence d'appareils plus modernes, les Bombays de 216 e Escadron ont été utilisés comme bombardiers de nuit, ainsi que dans leur rôle principal d'avions de transport [ 10 ] , [ 11 ] . La cargaison de bombes de 250 lb de conception a été complétée par des bombes improvisées jetées à la main par de la porte de soute [ 11 ] , [ 7 ] . L'avion a effectué des sorties de bombardements contre des cibles dans le désert occidental, dont Benghazi et Tobrouk, et contre la Somalie italienne, jusqu'à ce que l'arrivée des bombardiers Vickers Wellington en Égypte permettant au Bombay de se recentrer sur les opérations de transport [ 12 ] , [ 13 ] .

      Dans le rôle de transport, ils ont transporté des fournitures et évacué les blessés pendant le siège de Tobrouk, tandis que le 2 mai 1941, les Bombay du No. 216 Squadron RAF ont évacué la famille royale grecque de Crète en Égypte. Ensuite le même mois, les Bombay ont joué un rôle important dans le convoyage des troupes pendant la guerre anglo-irakienne. Cinq Bombay ont été utilisés par tout nouveau SAS pour sa première opération officielle au Moyen-Orient : un raid sur les cinq aérodromes allemands avancés, le 17 novembre 1941 [ 14 ] .

      Le lieutenant-général William Gott, le plus haut gradé britannique tué pendant la guerre, est mort lorsque le Bombay où il était a été abattu dans le désert occidental le 7 août 1942. Il était sur le point de prendre le commandement du général Claude Auchinleck. Sa mort a ouvert la voie au général Bernard Montgomery [ 15 ] .

      Le Bombay a évacué plus de 2 000 blessés au cours de la campagne de Sicile en 1943, et un équipage a été crédité du rapatriement de 6 000 victimes de Sicile et d'Italie avant que le type soit retiré du service en 1944 [ 16 ] , [ 17 ] .

      130th King George's Own Baluchis (Jacob's Rifles) [ edit | edit source ]

      Subsequent to the reforms brought about in the Indian Army by Lord Kitchener in 1903, all former Bombay Army units had 100 added to their numbers, and the regiment's designation was changed to 130th Jacob’s Baluchis. In 1906, the Prince of Wales (later King George V) was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. Α] The regimental full dress uniform in 1914 included a rifle green turban and kurta (knee length tunic) piped in red, worn with red trousers and white gaiters. The red trousers were a distinctive feature of all five Baluch infantry regiments then serving in the Indian Army. Γ] During the First World War the regiment served in German East Africa and Palestine. In 1918 it raised a second battalion, which was disbanded in 1920. Α]

      30th Regiment (3rd Belooch Battalion) Bombay Infantry. Watercolour by AC Lovett 1890.

      Faculty & Staff

      As of April 8, the University Events Calendar has been merged with the calendar from the university's 25Live room reservation system. Now, when you reserve a space for an event on campus, it will be added to the University Events Calendar. You'll no longer have to submit the same information in two separate systems.

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      21st Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program

      The 21st Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman with a digital library exhibition a keynote panel on "Talking About Race Through Storytelling and Music" and two Bristol community events sponsored by Rogers Free Library.

      Published in 1971, Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a fictional autobiography that tells a story of race in America through the eyes of one woman whose life spans the end of Slavery and into the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The publication of the book (as well as the acclaimed 1974 TV-film adaptation starring Cicely Tyson) was an important cultural moment for further understanding the human side of the African-American experience in the United States.

      The Digital ExhibitionOpening February 9, 2021

      Prepared in collaboration with Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, the digital project explores Gaines and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman through an archival look at early manuscripts, images, interviews, reviews, and other related items. Beginning February 9, it can be accessed here.

      Book Discussion Hosted by Rogers Free Library

      Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Zoom Meeting (Click here for more information on how to attend.)

      Time: 7:00 pm

      Instructor: Susan Tacent, PhD

      A One-Evening Writing Workshop Presented by Rogers Free Library: Make it Come Alive! — Ernest Gaines, Miss Jane Pittman, and the Power of Storytelling

      Date: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, Zoom Meeting (Click here to Register for the workshop.)

      Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

      Instructor: Susan Tacent, PhD

      Talking About Race Through Storytelling & Music

      Date: Monday, March 15, 2021

      Time: 7:00 PM

      Presented in conjunction with the Mary Tefft White Endowment.

      In honor of the 50th anniversary of Ernest J. Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a keynote panel, based on Gaines’ practice and philosophy, will focus on talking about race through storytelling and music. Panelists include: writer Danzy Senna (author of Caucasia) New Orleans jazz legend Michael White and Cheylon Woods, archivist and Head of the Gaines Center at University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

      Talking in the Library on March 3 - Daughters of Dissidents: Jewher Ilham & Akeda Pulati

      Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

      Presented in conjunction with Scholars at Risk, and Scholars at Risk’s Student Advocacy Seminar Programs.

      In 2014, Uyghur Economics Professor, IlhamTohti, was detained, arrested, and sentenced to life in prison for his work to create peaceful dialogue between Uyghur and Han Chinese. Three years later, Professor Rahile Dawut, an internationally known expert on Uyghur Folklore and Traditions, was disappeared by the Chinese government. Tohti’s daughter, Jehwer Ilham, inadvertently ended up in the US after the 2014 detention, forced to start a new life while Rahile Dawut’s daughter, Akeda Pulati, was a graduate student at University of Washington. Forced to seek asylum, both daughters found themselves engaged in international advocacy on behalf of their parents, and soon on behalf of their people. Jewher and Akeda will appear in a dialogue about their unique and shared experiences as daughters of prominent and missing dissidents.

      On March 22, Enjoy a Conversation with Adam Haslett, the 2020-2021 Bermont Fellowship Distinguished Visiting Author

      Adam Haslett, Novelist and Short Story Writer

      “A Reading and Conversation”

      As part of the Bermont Fellowship for Fiction and Nonfiction, noted novelist Adam Haslett will offer a public reading and discussion. Haslett is the author of three works of fiction: Imagine Me Gone, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and the novel Union Atlantic, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. His books have been translated into eighteen languages, and his journalism on culture and politics have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, The Nation, and The Atlantic Monthly, among others.

      Cosponsored with the Bermont Fellowship for Fiction and Nonfiction The Rogers Free Library Jane Bodell Endowment and the Anthony Quinn Foundation

      Plant and animal life

      Forests cover less than one-fifth of the state and are confined to the Western Ghats, mainly their transverse ranges, the Satpura Range in the north, and the Chandrapur region in the east. On the coast and adjoining slopes, plant forms are rich with lofty trees, variegated shrubs, and mango and coconut trees. The forests yield teak, bamboo, myrobalan (for dyeing), and other woods.

      Thorny savanna-like vegetation occurs in areas of lesser rainfall, notably in upland Maharashtra. Subtropical vegetation is found on higher plateaus that receive heavy rain and have milder temperatures. Bamboo, chestnut, and magnolia are common. In the semiarid tracts, wild dates are found. Mangrove vegetation occurs in marshes and estuaries along the coast.

      Wild animals include tigers, leopards, bison, and several species of antelope. The striped hyena, wild hog, and sloth bear are common. Monkeys and snakes occur in great variety, as do ducks and other game birds. The peacock is indigenous. Many of those animals can be viewed at the state’s national parks at Tadoba, Chikhaldara, and Borivli. The state’s abundant marine life in the waters off the western coast remains largely unexploited.

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