Vauhini Vara

Sep 14, 2022

The Immortal King Rao

W. W. Norton 2022

purchase at bookshop.org

Vauhini Vara was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, as a child of Indian immigrants, and grew up there and in Oklahoma and the Seattle suburbs. Her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao (W. W. Norton), is a New York Times Editors’ Choice and has been longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize; reviewing it in the Times, Justin Taylor called it “a monumental achievement.” It will be followed by a story collection, This is Salvaged, in 2023.

She studied creative writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, Tin House, Zyzzyva, and other journals. It has received an O. Henry Award, as well as honors from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, MacDowell, and Yaddo.

Vara began her writing career as a technology reporter at the Wall Street Journal; after nine years, she spent two years launching, editing and writing for the business section of the New Yorker’s website. Since then, her writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Businessweek, and elsewhere. She is a Wired contributing writer and can sometimes be found working as a story editor at the New York Times Magazine.

Books recommended:

Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Chris Holmes