Search - List of Books by Raj Kamal Jha
Raj Kamal Jha (born 1966) is an Indian novelist and journalist.
Total Books: 20
Jha was born in Bihar and was raised in Calcutta, West Bengal, where he went to school at St. Joseph's College, Calcutta. He then attended the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur where he did his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, (but perhaps more significantly, had his first brush with journalism as the editor of the campus magazine, Alankar, where his first short fiction appeared).
After graduating from IIT, he went to the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he received his M.A. in 1990.
Jha was an Assistant Editor (News) at The Statesman in Kolkata, a Senior Associate Editor at India Today, New Delhi, and since 1996 has been with The Indian Express first as Deputy Editor, then as Executive Editor. He is now Managing Editor. He lives in Gurgaon.
The Indian Express has thrice won the Vienna-based International Press Institute's award for Excellence in Journalism in 2004, 2006 and 2009. Its journalists have won several national and international awards.
Jha is the author of three published novels.
His first novel, The Blue Bedspread won the 2000 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia region) and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
His second novel If You Are Afraid of Heights was a finalist for the Hutch-Crossword Book Award in 2003. He has also been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Guardian First Book Award.
His third novel, Fireproof, debuted in German at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2006 (published by Goldmann). It was published to wide critical acclaim by Picador in India in December and in the UK in February 2007. Actes Sud published it in French in 2008.
Set against the backdrop of the 2002 Gujarat violence, the first attack on innocent Muslim civilians after 9/11, the novel is a chilling, magical tale of a father and his deformed son on a journey across a city where the ghosts of those killed have decided to seek justice.
Jha's fiction is known for its stark simplicity and ability to evoke emotion through attention to detail. John Fowles described The Blue Bedspread as the "Coming of age of the Indian novel."
Commenting on his latest book, India Today said: "Here is a chronicle for the 21st century, then, a bildungsroman that tracks the education of the crime-infested soul, completed when the soul cries 'I am guilty' and acknowledges that the burden of this enormous guilt will darken the rest of his life. And that will be his punishment, not the release of the noose or of public abasement in prison."
His fiction is strongly grounded in contemporary Indian themes around change, often taking off from newspaper pages. From domestic violence to the urban-rural divide and, in his latest novel, mass violence and communal tension, Jha's books engage with disturbing subjects unusual in contemporary writing in English but capture those realities of India that escape the mainstream media. His writing, simple as it appears, often calls for a lot of reader participation which evokes sharp, divided reaction.
Jha's fiction has been translated into more than a dozen European languages, including French, German, Italian, Dutch, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, Spanish and Finnish. His short stories have appeared in French and German anthologies as well. His work has been featured in several international literary festivals, including Hay-on-Wye, Munich Writers' Festival, Melbourne Writers' Festival and the Los Angeles Times Book Festival.
Japanese video artist and photographer Noritoshi Hirakawa created four video installations taking scenes from Jha's three novels for an exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi in 2007 as part of a special exhibition of contemporary Japanese art called Vanishing Points. All actors in these video films were from India.
Jha was recently a visiting professor at the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley where he taught a course on reporting on India. He was also a fellow at the Yaddo Residency in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 2005.