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Michael Dodson
Dhar India Studies Program

George Vlahakis
IU Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vikram Chandra, author of 'Sacred Games,' speaking Thursday at IU

March 28, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Vikram Chandra, author of the acclaimed novel "Sacred Games," which is being developed as a television series by AMC, will speak at Indiana University Bloomington at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29.

Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra

Print-Quality Photo

The public is welcome to attend his reading and lecture, "Reading Gangsters, Writing Cops," which will take place in the University Club of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Chandra will be delivering the annual Hrishikesh and Sailabala Bhattacharya Memorial Lecture of the Dhar India Studies Program. Two other units also in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, the Creative Writing Program and the Asian American Studies Program, also are hosting his visit.

Chandra's most recent novel, "Sacred Games," was a national best-seller in the United States and in India. Its story focuses on a policeman, a criminal overlord, a Bollywood film star, beggars, cultists, spies and terrorists. The lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched and the bloodthirsty interweave with cataclysmic consequences amid the chaos of modern-day Mumbai.

The book has been described as "a landmark in the history of Indian English literature," "a passionate tribute to contemporary India in all its vigor and vulgarity" and "a terrific, brilliant earthmover of a book."

Sacred Games book cover

Michael S. Dodson, director of the Dhar India Studies Program, said that the program is "enormously pleased to have a writer of Vikram's caliber visit Bloomington. He is one of the most important contemporary voices writing in South Asian fiction in English, and 'Sacred Games' especially is a novel of stunning breadth and complexity."

Chandra's reading and talk will concern the writing of the book, its description of systemic corruption, and its engagement with the genres of crime and detective novels and films. "Sacred Games" is currently being developed as a long-form cable television series by AMC, the home of "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead."

The New Delhi native also is author of "Love and Longing in Bombay" and "Red Earth and Pouring Rain." He divides his time between Mumbai and Berkeley, where he teaches creative writing at the University of California. His work has been published in 11 languages.