Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What is Samrat Upadhyay reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Samrat Upadhyay, author of Buddha's Orphans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

His entry begins:
I am currently reading William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault. I had read the novel when it first came out a few years ago, but I was drawn to it again recently after I found my graduate student Lana Spendl reading it on the trip to Nepal that I had organized. I snatched the book from her during a bus ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu. But reading Trevor in Nepal was hard not only because the bus rattled on the bad road but also because the congestion and the traffic noise around me made it difficult to focus on Trevor’s nuanced prose, which, to be understood and savored, requires a kind of tiger-like attention. So, I picked up the novel again when I returned to the States and have been reading it in my quiet town of Bloomington, Indiana.

Trevor is a master of the English prose, one of our finest storytellers. I’ve read almost all of his books. His short stories are to be admired and emulated. He is slightly less powerful as a novelist, but still better than many of his contemporaries. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly he...[read on]
Among the early praise for Buddha's Orphans:
"In this novel, Upadhyay has masterfully blended history, tragedy, politics and romance to create the arresting story of a family that is at once unique and universal, set against the backdrop of a vibrant, complicated, modern Nepal that will fascinate readers."
--Chitra Divakaruni, author of One Amazing Thing and Palace of Illusions

"Buddha's Orphans is an extraordinary achievement. It has the sweep and romantic grandeur of a great old-fashioned Russian novel, and, at the same time, the precision and intimacy of a beautiful collection of linked stories. Samrat Upadhyay has created a remarkable work, one to be savored and remembered."
--Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
Read an excerpt from Buddha's Orphans, and learn more about the book at the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt website.

Samrat Upadhyay is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Indiana University--Bloomington. His books include the short story collection Arresting God in Kathmandu (2001), the novel The Guru of Love (2003), and the story collection, The Royal Ghosts (2006).

Writers Read: Samrat Upadhyay.

--Marshal Zeringue