Vikram Chandra was
born in 1961 in New Delhi. and completed most of his secondary education at Mayo
College, a boarding school in Ajmer, Rajasthan. After a short stay at St.
Xavier's College in Mumbai, he came to the United States as an undergraduate
student. In 1984, he graduated from Pomona College (in Claremont, near Los
Angeles) with a magna cum laude BA in English, with a concentration in creative
writing. He then attended the Film School at Columbia University in New
York. While in the Columbia library he happened upon the autobiography of
Colonel James "Sikander" Skinner, a legendary nineteenth century soldier, born
of an Indian mother and a British father. This book inspired him to write his first
novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain, most of which was written while he
attended writing programs at John Hopkins University and the University of Houston
(having dropped out of film school early) from where he earned an MA and MFA
Red Earth and Pouring Rain was published in 1995 in India, the UK and USA, and was received very well. It won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. In 1997 he published a collection of short stories, Love and Longing in Bombay, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Eurasia region); was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize; and was included in a number of "notable books of the year" lists.
A 900-page novel, Sacred Games, was published in 2006 in India and the UK, and in the USA in early 2007. He is also the co-writer of the Bollywood movie Mission Kashmir, released in late October, 2000, and has been a news anchor on Indian TV, a computer programmer and consultant.
Vikram Chandra currently divides his time between Mumbai and Berkeley, California, where he teaches creative writing at the University of California. He lives with his wife Melanie Abrams, who is also a novelist.
This biography was last updated on 06/19/2011.
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