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Vivek Shanbhag biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Vivek Shanbhag

Vivek Shanbhag

Vivek Shanbhag Biography

Vivek Shanbhag is the author of eight works of fiction and two plays, all of which have been published to wide acclaim in the South Indian language Kannada. He was a Fall 2016 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Ghachar Ghochar is the first of his books to appear in English.



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Interview

An Interview with renowned Indian author Vivek Shanbhag about his first book to be translated into English, Ghachar Ghochar.

What was your initial inspiration for this novel?

This novel was inside me and growing for several years. It is difficult to put my finger on a single incident or experience and say it was the inspiration, but I have a hunch that the seed of the story was sown twenty-five years ago, when I first began working as an engineer. At that time, I worked with a few salespeople, and I vividly remember visiting a salesman's house where every member of the family was involved in his job. They even knew the codes assigned to hundreds of products he was selling. This may have been the seed, but it takes a lot for a seed to grow into a tree and bear fruit. There is a saying in Kannada, which roughly translates to "one must not try to discover the source of a river;" such efforts inevitably end in disappointment.

Neel Mukherjee calls Ghachar Ghochar "a book of distilled simplicity;" indeed, it is a paragon of concision. Was this your intention when you began writing? Is brevity a hallmark of your work?

I started out writing short stories, a form that demands much discipline, and all of my novels are relatively short. I like Hemingway's Iceberg Theory: that most of the story is beneath the surface, like an iceberg. That does not...

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Books by this Author

Books by Vivek Shanbhag at BookBrowse
Ghachar Ghochar jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Vivek Shanbhag 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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  • Jonathan Franzen

    Jonathan Franzen

    Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959, and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1981 he studied at the Freie Universität in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Ghachar Ghochar

    Try:
    The Corrections
    by Jonathan Franzen

  • Jhumpa Lahiri

    Jhumpa Lahiri

    Jhumpa Lahiri was born 1967 in London, England, and raised in Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Barnard College, where she received a B.A. in English literature, and of Boston University, where she received an M.A. in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Ghachar Ghochar

    Try:
    The Lowland
    by Jhumpa Lahiri

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