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Profiles Interviews

Samrat Upadhyay, Director Of IU’s Creative Writing Program

Shana Ritter interviews Samrat Upadhyay, novelist and director of Indiana University's MFA Creative Writing Program

Samrat Upadhyay portrait. He is smiling and wearing glasses and a leather jacket over a blue striped shirt

Photo: Adam Schwartz/WFIU

Samrat Upadhyay

When I was a young writer I used to think that all I had to do was write my first book. And then, that was it—after that it would be all honey and roses, I would’ve mastered my craft . . . and it’s turned out to be exactly the opposite. Each new book has its own requirements and its own challenges that are very different. There’s no mastery in this field.

Samrat Upadhyay directs the MFA creative writing program at Indiana University.

He is the author of the novels Arresting God in Kathmandu, a Whiting Award winner; The Guru of Love, a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year; and a collection of short stories, The Royal Ghosts, winner of the Asian American Literary Award. His latest novel, Buddha’s Orphans, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

He has written for The New York Times and has appeared on BBC Radio and NPR.


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