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Book Title: Red Earth and Pouring Rain|
The author of the book: Vikram Chandra
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 863 KB
Date of issue: October 14th 2000
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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In Vikram Chandra's astonishing first novel, the gods Hanuman, Ganesha and Yama descend on a house in an Indian city to vie for the soul of a wounded monkey. A bargain is struck: the monkey must tell a story, and if he can keep his audience entertained, he shall live.The result is Red Earth and Pouring Rain, a tale of nineteenth century India: of Sanjay, a poet, and Sikander, a warrior; of hoofbeats thundering through the streets of Calcutta and the birth of a luminous child; of great wars and love affairs and a city gone 'mad with poetry'. And woven into this tapestry of stories is a second, totally modern narrative, the adventures of a young Indian criss-crossing America in a car with his friends and his eventual return to his homeland.
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Read information about the authorVikram Chandra was born in New Delhi.
He 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, Vikram 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. In the Columbia library, by chance, 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 was to become the inspiration for Vikram's novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain. He left film school halfway to begin work on the novel.
Red Earth and Pouring Rain was written over several years at the writing programs at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston. Vikram worked with John Barth at Johns Hopkins and with Donald Barthelme at the University of Houston; he obtained an MA at Johns Hopkins and an MFA at the University of Houston.
While writing Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Vikram taught literature and writing, and also worked independently as a computer programmer and software and hardware consultant. His clients included oil companies, non-profit organizations, and the Houston Zoo.
Red Earth and Pouring Rain was published in 1995 by Penguin/India in India; by Faber and Faber in the UK; and by Little, Brown in the United States. The book was received with outstanding critical acclaim. It won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book and the David Higham Prize for Fiction.
A collection of short stories, Love and Longing in Bombay, was published in 1997 by Penguin/India in India; by Faber and Faber in the UK; and by Little, Brown in the United States. Love and Longing in Bombay won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Eurasia region); was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize; and was included in "Notable Books of 1997" by the New York Times Book Review, in "Best Books of the Year" by the Independent (London), in "Best Books of the Year" by the Guardian (London), and in "The Ten Best Books of 1997" by Outlook magazine (New Delhi). Two of these stories have been formerly published in the Paris Review and The New Yorker. The story "Dharma" was awarded the Discovery Prize by the Paris Review, and was included in Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's Press, 1998).
A novel, Sacred Games, was published in 2006 by Penguin/India in India; and by Faber and Faber in the UK. It will be published in January 2007 in the United States by HarperCollins.
In June 1997, Vikram was featured in the New Yorker photograph of "India's leading novelists." His work has been translated into eleven languages.
He has co-written Mission Kashmir, an Indian feature film starring Sanjay Dutt, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, and Jackie Shroff, that was released internationally in late October, 2000.
Vikram's mother, Kamna Chandra, is the writer of several Hindi films including Prem Rog and 1942: A Love Story; she has also written plays for All India Radio and Doordarshan. His sister, Tanuja Chandra, is a director and screenwriter, who has directed several films including Sur and Sangharsh. His other sister Anupama Chopra is a film critic and senior correspondent for India Today; she has written Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, a BFI book about the hugely popular 1995 hit. Her first book, Sholay: The Making of a Classic, won the Swarn Kamal, a national award for the best Indian book on cinema in 1995. Vikram's father, Navin Chandra, is a retired executive.
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.
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