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Last modified: Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Manil Suri, "Age of Shiva" author, next presenter in IU India Studies lecture series

Feb. 3, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Manil Suri, author of the international bestsellers The Death of Vishnu and The Age of Shiva, and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, will present the Savitaben Kantilal Trivedi Memorial Lecture at Indiana University Bloomington on Feb. 27.

Suri will speak on the theme, "Capturing India Through Fiction," beginning at 5 p.m. in the Faculty Room of the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU), 900 E. Seventh St. His lecture is the second event in the IU India Studies spring lecture series. All series events are free and open to the public.

The Mumbai, India, native's first published fiction in English was The Seven Circles, a short story that appeared in The New Yorker in February 2000. The Death of Vishnu, his first novel, blended comedy with Hindu mythology and a dash of Bollywood sparkle. The book debuted in India in January 2001.

His second novel, The Age of Shiva, was published last February. It has been described as a story of modern India, "richly layered with themes from Hindu mythology," about a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love.

In addition to being published by W. W. Norton in the United States and Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, his books have been translated into 22 languages. Suri was named by Time magazine as a "Person to Watch" in 2000, and he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction in 2004.

In addition to being a writer, Suri is a mathematician. He obtained his doctorate in applied mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a tenured full professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. His research interest is numerical analysis, and he actively seeks ways to make mathematics more popular to the public at large.

His most successful effort to popularize math has been a lecture, "Taming Infinity," which he presented at the 2006 International Literature Festival Berlin. This and other outreach efforts can be accessed through his academic web site at

Other upcoming events in the India Studies series are:

  • March 30 -- "The Radical Liberal: Mushirul Hasan and the Assault on Jamia Millia Islamia," by Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, beginning at 1 p.m. at India Studies House, 825 E. Eighth St.
  • April 17 -- "Divine Resonance: Chinese and Indian Theories of Aesthetics," by Victor Mair, professor of East Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at India Studies House, 825 E. Eighth St.
  • April 24 -- "The Indian Growth Miracle: Can It Be Sustained?," by Arvind Panagariya, the Jagdish N. Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at India Studies House, 825 E. Eighth St.

For more information about India Studies, call 812-855-5798 or send a message to