University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Spring 2018 Writers-in-Residence

Amitav Ghosh
 

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique LandDancing in CambodiaThe Calcutta ChromosomeThe Glass PalaceThe Hungry Tide, and The Ibis TrilogySea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire.

The Circle of Reason was awarded France’s Prix Médicis in 1990, and The Shadow Lines won two prestigious Indian prizes the same year, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke award for 1997 and The Glass Palace won the International e-Book Award at the Frankfurt book fair in 2001. In January 2005 The Hungry Tide was awarded the Crossword Book Prize, a major Indian award. His novel, Sea of Poppies (2008) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2008 and was awarded the Crossword Book Prize and the India Plaza Golden Quill Award.

Amitav Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and the Venice Film Festival (2001). Amitav Ghosh’s essays have been published in The New YorkerThe New Republic and The New York Times. His essays have been published by Penguin India (The Imam and the Indian) and Houghton Mifflin USA (Incendiary Circumstances). He has taught in many universities in India and the USA, including Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College and Harvard.  In January 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honours, by the President of India. In 2010, Amitav Ghosh was awarded honorary doctorates by Queens College, New York, and the Sorbonne, Paris. Along with Margaret Atwood, he was also a joint winner of a Dan David Award for 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the International Grand Prix of the Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal.

Deborah Baker
 

Deborah Baker was born in Charlottesville and grew up in Virginia, Puerto Rico and New England.  She attended the University of Virginia and Cambridge University.  Her first biography, written in college, was Making a Farm: The Life of Robert Bly, published by Beacon Press in 1982. After working a number of years as a book editor and publisher, in 1990 she moved to Calcutta where she wrote In Extremis; The Life of Laura Riding.  Published by Grove Press and Hamish Hamilton in the UK, it was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1994.  Her third book, A Blue Hand: The Beats in India was published by Penguin Press USA and Penguin India in 2008. In 2008-2009 she was a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis C. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at The New York Public Library.  There she researched and wrote The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism, a narrative account of the life of an American convert to Islam, drawn on letters on deposit in the library’s manuscript division. "The Convert, published by Graywolf and Penguin India, was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Non-Fiction". She has two children and is married to the writer Amitav Ghosh. They divide their time between Brooklyn and Goa.