Siddharth Shanghvi

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Born Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
(1977-08-25) 25 August 1977 (age 39)
Occupation writer
Language English-language
Notable works The Last Song of Dusk (2004)

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi (born 1977[1]) is an Indian author in English-language whose notable books include, The Last Song of Dusk (2004) and The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay (2009).[2][3] He lives in Bombay and is a contributor to Time and other publications.[4]

The Last Song of Dusk (2005), made it to Man Asian Prize: 2009 Shortlist,[5] won the 2004 Betty Trask Award, one of UK's most prestigious prizes for debut novels,[6][7] and Premio Grinzane Cavour 2005 (Italy) for the Best Debut novel.[8] This book was also theSan Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004, a 2006 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller.,[9] and translated into 10 languages.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Juhu, Mumbai in a Gujarati Sanghvi family, Siddharth's father is businessman, while his grandfather, Arvind Vasavada, a psychoanalyst and a Jungian scholar.[10]

He pursued his MA in International Journalism at the University of Westminster, London, where he specialised in Photography in 1999.[3] His second masters, in mass communications, was from San Jose State University (MS, Distinction).


He wrote his first book "The Last Song of Dusk," at 22, but dropped it when the agent suggested some changes, thereafter he moved to Northern California, having an aunt and uncle in Berkeley, and enrolled in a Master's degree in Mass Communications at San Jose State University. He graduated in 2002 and the book was finally published in 2004.[10][11][12]

Shanghvi has been compared to Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth in his writing styles, especially for using settings of magical realism, and themes such as karma, love and sexuality extensively in The Last Song of Dusk.[7][13] His essay, Hello, Darling, appeared in 2008 anthology, AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories From India.[14]

His second book, The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay (2009) which had events taken from the Jessica Lall murder case,[15] received mixed reviews,[16] and later he announced it to be his last.[17][18]

After his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Shanghvi turned to photography.[19] His photography series The House Next Door, opened at Galleri Kontrast in Stockholm in 2010. In early 2011 it was shown at the Matthieu Foss Gallery, Bombay[19] and later at Delhi's eponymous Vadehra Art Gallery. Referring to this body of work Salman Rushdie (author of Midnight's Children) said, "These pictures touched me deeply. They are at once intimate and clear-sightedly objective, precise and affectionate. The quietness of their world is the silence of memory and sorrow, but there is, too, considerable artistry in the composition, and a joy taken in detail, and character, and place."[citation needed]

He divides time between Albany, California[10] and Mumbai.



  1. ^ Siddharth Shanghvi Biography
  2. ^ Sekhar, Vaishnavi C (3 October 2004). "Mumbai meri muse: A hundred stories bloom". The Times of India. 
  3. ^ a b "Never Too Young". Indian Express. 11 January 2004. 
  4. ^ Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi (14 March 2011). "Pocketful of Rai". Time. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Siddharth Shanghvi Man Asian Literary Prize.
  6. ^ Past Winners: 2004 Betty Trask Award
  7. ^ a b "Q&A with Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi". Verve. Volume 12, Issue 3, Third Quarter 2004.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Write choice". The Times of India. 10 February 2005. 
  9. ^ The Last Song of Dusk
  10. ^ a b c d Guthmann, Edward (26 June 2006). "It took a bad move and then a broken heart before 'a bloody reject' would release 'Last Song of Dusk.' Now he's a literary rock star". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  11. ^ "Difficult Loves: First Novel Heavy on Sorrow and Scandal". SF Station. 20 January 2005. 
  12. ^ "IN THE HEART OF SADNESS". The Telegraph (Kolkata). 4 February 2005. 
  13. ^ "Succumbing to temptation". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 13 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Siddharth Shanghvi writes on AIDS in India". San Francisco Chronicle. 1 October 2008. 
  15. ^ "Famous Last Words". Indian Express. 28 February 2009. 
  16. ^ "Mumbai in hyperbole: Self-indulgence, clichés and a wild prose style mar this novel set in maximum city". Live Mint. 27 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "My second book is my last: Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi". CNN IBN. 26 February 2009. 
  18. ^ "Lost with the flamingoes". MiD DAY. 18 March 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Lalitha Suhasini (1 February 2011). "Black & White silences". Mid Day. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 

External links[edit]