Search - List of Books by Stephen Alter
Stephen Alter (born 1956) is an American author, primarily of non-fiction but also of fiction, who was born and raised in India, where he grew up as the son of missionaries. Accordingly, he was a Third Culture Kid (TCK), and his writings are generally described as Indo-nostalgic. His childhood was spent primarily in the small British Raj-era hill station of Landour in the Lower Western Himalaya -- which has, conveniently, provided a catchy title for one of his more successful (autobiographical) titles: "All the Way to Heaven: An American Boyhood in the Himalayas". Attention-grabbing titles would appear to be an Alter hallmark -- "Sacred Waters: A Pilgrimage Up the Ganges River" is another of his titles.
Total Books: 28
He graduated from Woodstock School (where his father Rev. Bob Alter long served as Principal) in Landour and subsequently from Wesleyan University.
He has taught writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the American University in Cairo. He is often to be found in Landour, or elsewhere in India, for long stretches, even months at a time. Travelling grants awarded under the Fulbright Program and Guggenheim Fellowship have often provided him with the resources to research his writing projects in India.
Alter, who does not have a mainstream Western audience in the mass-distributed sense, does nonetheless address a distinct niche and enjoys a cult following among fellow former TCKs, former Western expats in India (esp. missionaries) and to a lesser extent Non-Resident Indians. The subject matter of his more recent books may hint at a subtle (or unsubtle) attempt to enlarge his reader base among Indians resident in India, especially as disposable incomes rise rapidly in urban India.
He is married to Ameeta and has a son, Jayant and daughter Shibani.(Stephen Alter is a first cousin of Tom Alter, a naturalized Indian actor in Bollywood.)