Shilpa Agarwal is the author of Haunting Bombay, a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a winner of the First Words Literary Prize for South Asian Writers. Published internationally, Shilpa's debut novel was noted for its mystical qualities and unforgettable characters; the story infused with magical realism, myth, history, and a haunting evocation of the unknown.
She was featured on the United Nations’ newly released album, Music to Inspire – Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking, along with former President Jimmy Carter, Grammy Award-winning musicians, and over !fty artists from around the world.
Shilpa is Fiction Editor at Angels Flight • literary west, a literary and cultural journal focused on Los Angeles and its environs, its history, architecture, arts, people and their stories.
Shilpa earned her B.A. from Duke University, specializing in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern literatures, and Women's Studies. She was awarded a Euguene Cota-Robles Fellowship at UCLA where she earned her M.A. and C.Phil. in Comparative Literature, including American, Asian-American, English, French, South Asian, Postcolonial, and Women's Studies literatures. She has taught at UCLA and UCSB.
Shilpa is a writer of social justice and the inner world, seeking truth where it has been buried, and striving always for moments of hope, strength, and grace. Shilpa is a founder and former Artistic Director of the South Asian American arts festival, ArtWallah, a mentor for the PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship, and a freelance editor.
Shilpa's writing is informed by glimpses into moments of alienation and awakening, especially during metaphoric crossings: the living meet the dead, the heavens and earth clash, the powerful and the powerless collide. Shilpa writes to call up the haunting utterances of the excluded, to excavate fragmentary memories that edge consciousness, and to imagine a more nuanced narrative of history itself. She is currently working on a script, and on a trilogy that reclaims and resurrects the female body.