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Vikram Chandra biography

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Vikram Chandra
Photo: Melanie Abrams

Vikram Chandra

How to pronounce Vikram Chandra: Vik (rhymes with sick)-rum, Chund-rah

Vikram Chandra Biography

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 respectively.

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.

Link to Vikram's website

This biography was last updated on 04/04/2016.

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Books by this Author

Books by Vikram Chandra at BookBrowse
Sacred Games jacket Love and Longing in Bombay jacket Red Earth and Pouring Rain jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Vikram Chandra but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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    Aravind Adiga was born in 1974 in Madras (now called Chennai), and grew up in Mangalore in the south of India. He was educated at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen College, Oxford. His articles have appeared in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Sacred Games

    Try:
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  • John Burdett

    John Burdett

    John Burdett is a nonpracticing lawyer who worked in Hong Kong for a British firm until he found his true vocation as a writer. Since then, he has lived in France and Spain, and Thailand and is now back in Hong Kong. His ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
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    Try:
    Bangkok Tattoo
    by John Burdett

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