Shanghvi, Siddharth Dhanvant 1977–

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Shanghvi, Siddharth Dhanvant 1977–

PERSONAL: Born 1977, in Mumbai, India. Education: University of Westminster, M.A.; San Jose State University, M.S.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Publishing Group, Orion House, Upper St. Martin's Ln., London WC2H 9EA, England.

CAREER: Writer. Has worked as a chef, a kennel boy, and a storyteller.

AWARDS, HONORS: Betty Trask Award, Society of Authors, 2004, for The Last Song of Dusk.

WRITINGS:

The Last Song of Dusk (novel), Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of articles to newspapers and magazines, including Sunday Times of India, Elle, and San Francisco Chronicle.

SIDELIGHTS: Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi received substantial acclaim for his first novel, The Last Song of Dusk, which received the Betty Trask Award, a prestigious British prize given to outstanding first novels penned by writers under agethirty-five. The story begins in the 1920s in India with the marriage of an attractive couple, bride Anuradha Patwardhan and groom Vardhamaan Gandharva, who believe they will have a wonderful life together, as in a fairy tale. Reality interferes with their dreams, however, as they endure the death of their first child and the hostility of Vardhamaan's stepmother. Shanghvi follows them through their difficulties and tells the stories of other family members, including Anuradha's beautiful and beguiling artist cousin, Nandini, and the couple's second son, Shloka. Shanghvi's fictional characters encounter some from real life, such as Mohandas Gandhi and Virginia Woolf, and the author adds touches of magic realism.

Several critics praised the novel as creative and compelling. "Shanghvi enchants readers with delectable images and sensual scenes," observed Faye A. Chadwell in Library Journal, while Newsweek International reviewer Vibhuti Patel found it a "lush" work that "truly satisfies." Deborah Donovan, writing in Booklist, described The Last Song of Dusk as "marvelously inventive," combining social satire, complex family history, romance, and a bit of fantasy. A Kirkus Reviews commentator called it "insistently readable," with "gorgeous atmospheric and verbal trappings." Verve magazine contributor Sangita P. Advani summed up the novel and its author by saying that readers will find "a simply unputdownable story, a writing talent that is dew in its ability to moisten the heart as it glistens over the tale."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2004, Deborah Donovan, review of The Last Song of Dusk, p. 64.

Library Journal, December 1, 2004, Faye A. Chadwell, review of The Last Song of Dusk, p. 103.

Newsweek International, December 13, 2004, Vibhuti Patel, review of The Last Song of Dusk, p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, August 9, 2004, Charles Hix, profile of Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, p. 131; September 13, 2004, review of The Last Song of Dusk, p. 56.

Verve, September, 2004, Sangita P. Advani, interview with Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi.

ONLINE

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi Home Page, http://www.siddharths.com (September 29, 2005).