About Pankaj Mishra
Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the Allahabad University
before completing his MA in English Literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru
University in New Delhi. He wrote his first novel when he was only seventeen
years old, and two further novels followed, although none have been published.
In 1992, he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan
village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The
Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper
Pioneer. His first book was Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels
in Small Town India (1995), a travelogue which described the social
and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization. (Picador
will publish a new and revised edition of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana in
the UK and India in late 2006.) His novel The Romantics (2000) an
ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their
own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angles
Times' Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His recent book
to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004), a New York Times
notable book, mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to
explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. His most recent book,
of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond, describes
Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal,
and other parts of South and Central Asia. Like his previous books, it
was featured in the New York Times' 100 Best Books of the Year.
In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of
writing on India titled India in Mind (Vintage). His writings have
been anthologized in The Picador Book of Journeys (2000), The
Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature (2004), and Away: The Indian
Writer as Expatriate (Penguin), among other titles. He has introduced
new editions of Rudyard Kipling's Kim (Modern Library), E. M. Forster's
A Passage to India (Penguin Classics), J. G. Farrell's The Siege
of Krishnapur (NYRB Classics), Gandhi's The Story of My Experiments
with Truth (Penguin) and R. K. Narayan's The Ramayana
(Penguin Classics). He has also introduced two volumes of V.S. Naipaul's
essays, The Writer and the World and Literary Occasions.
Mishra writes literary and political essays
for the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, The
Guardian, and the New Statesman, among other American, British,
and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in the London Review
of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times,
Post, Boston Globe, Time, The Independent,
Nation, N+1, Poetry, Common Knowledge,
& Leisure, The New Yorker, and Harper's. He
was a visiting professor at Wellesley College in 2001, 2004, and 2006.
In 2004-2005 he received a fellowship at the Cullmen Center for Writers
and Scholars, New York Public Library. He divides his time between London
and India, and is presently working on a novel. He is represented by the
literary agency Gillon Aitken Associates [site].
For 2007-08, he is the Visiting Fellow at
the Department of English, University College, London.