Shobha Rao

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Shobha Rao in 2018

Shobha Rao is an India-born American novelist.


  • I do believe that inside each of us, inside our imaginative lives, dwells every possibility in the human journey. It is a matter of access, I suppose. And the courage to access. I think we all have the same weapons: patience, imagination, hope, and the ability to be crucified and yet resurrect. I strive to be open to all of these.
  • I think the only responsibility that writers have is to our own truth. If that happens to merge with contemporary issues, then yes, write that truth. But what we are haunted by is not a thing we choose. And that choice is most certainly not made by the latest headlines.
  • My fingers are turning red, my nose is turning red, and that kind of cold, I was, of course, also unfamiliar with. And snow has always had an awe for me. The silence that takes over the world, and just. . . the absolute miracle of snow. I’ve never gotten over it, I have to confess.
  • I came to understand that there are far more stories in the world than my own, and that there was a richness and a profound resilience in the lives of these women that I was working with that just astonished me. It just floored me. And witnessing that resilience, witnessing their strength, their warmth, their generosity despite horrible acts of violence perpetrated against them, I walked away from that job with a very clear idea of who I was as a writer and what I needed to write. And it hasn’t changed. It’s just a fist inside of me. It just sits there.
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