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NPR  Best Book of 2017

San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2017

Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017

Amazon Editors' Pick 2017

Booklist Great Group Reads of 2017

Women's National Book Association Best Books of 2017

Winner, Housatonic Book Award

NPR Best Book of 2017

Library Journal Top 10 Books of 2017



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For a limited time:

Signed copies of The Samosa Rebellion may be purchased through Pegasus Books!

Here's how:

1. Order your copy here.

2. Select the delivery option and choose your shipping speed.

3. Write "TO BE SIGNED BY AUTHOR" in the NOTES field.  Be sure to mention whether you want the book signed to someone.

4. I'll pop down to Pegasus and sign it myself before it's sent off to you!

Also available here:



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LIT STARTS: Writing Dialogue


In The Press



Sekaran delves fearlessly...Brilliantly agonizing.


Sekaran makes no easy judgments. She does the hard work of a thorough fiction writer and presents flawed characters aching with humanity...Lucky Boy pulses with vitality, pumped with the life breath of human sin and love.


Sekaran is a master of drawing detailed, richly layered characters and relationships; here are the subtly nuanced lines of love and expectation between parents and children; here, too are moments of great depth and insight. A superbly crafted and engrossing novel.  
KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

 Sekaran explains systemic racism and the dangers of demagoguery in clear and age-appropriate ways with evocative prose...Breathtakingly memorable.

- KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Part age-appropriate parable about fascism, part quest adventure, this dystopian middle grade debut draws from events both historical and current to craft a startlingly resonant narrative; Muki’s family life especially, including the intergenerational relationships, the food, and the family’s neighborhood store, is richly imagined.


Funny, relevant, and a strong commentary on the anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent in our own country, this book deserves a place on the shelf.

- BOOKLIST (starred review)

[H]umanizes current discussions of immigration, privilege, and what it means to be an American. ...Sekaran evokes compassion for all the principals involved in the story... highly recommended and would be a strong choice for book clubs.LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

[A] deeply compassionate exploration of the emotional toll of infertility, the insidious ways in which class divides us, the weight of social judgment, and the explosive touch-point of today's headlines regarding illegal immigration ... [Sekaran delivers] penetrating insights into the intangibles of motherhood and indeed, all humanity. 

— BOOKLIST (starred review)

An ambitious, compassionate and intelligent book with new things to say on the timely subjects of motherhood, fertility, class and identity. This is a deeply human and humane novel by a gifted young writer. 

TOM BARBASH, Author of Stay Up With Me

It's a story about immigration, privilege, and parenthood, and shows us how we are connected, and how we are, perhaps irreparably, divided. It swept me away and took a little piece of my heart with it. It's a perfect book.

EDAN LEPUCKI, Bestselling author of California

A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.

— CRISTINA HENRÍQUEZ, Author of The Book of Unknown Americans

A gripping, obsessive, character-driven narrative of sacrifice and identity—where the lives of two women become forever tangled in the roots of motherhood. SIMON VAN BOOY, Award-winning author of The Illusion of Separateness


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Shanthi Sekaran's most recent novel, The Samosa Rebellion, was written for 8-13 year olds, but it's hopefully the kind of book adults can get into, too. The Samosa Rebellion comes out in September 2021.

Her most recent adult novel, Lucky Boy (Putnam/Penguin), was named an IndieNext Great Read and an NPR Best Book of 2017. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times,, LA Review of Books and Huffington Post.

When she's not writing books, she writes for television, on the staff of the NBC medical drama, New Amsterdam. Shanthi lives in Berkeley with her family and a cat named Frog.

Why I write novels for kids

I’ve spent most of my writing life writing for adults, but in 2008, when I had my first child, my life changed, and so did my reading habits. As most parents know, when you have kids, you end up reading a lot of kid lit. For me, this was a wonderful thing. I rediscovered the beauty and brilliance of writers I grew up reading (Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Arnold Lobel, Tomie DePaola, Zilpha Keatley Snyder). I also discovered authors writing the books I wish I’d had as a kid (Sayantani Dasgupta, Mitali Perkins, Jacqueline Woodson, RJ Palacio, Jerry Craft, Rebecca Stead and so many others!)


In the fall of 2019, I found myself writing a new book, one for adults. The problem was, I was stuck. I’d somehow forgotten how to just sit down and write a story. The adult book I was working on was mired in heavy concept, layers of meaning, but no real story. I still love writing literary fiction, and will always return to it. But I needed to try something new. So, I put my adult novel away. 


I returned to my earliest love: children’s literature. I thought about the books I’d spent my childhood summer days with, sun-warmed and half-asleep in my house’s reading nook. I thought about the books that make my kids laugh and think and ask questions. There’s a clarity of purpose in children’s literature that sometimes goes missing in adult books: Kids want good stories. They want interesting characters. They want stuff to happen.


I decided, as an experiment, to return to the basics of storytelling and try writing a book for kids. I decided I’d give myself three months to try it out, see if I liked it. As it turns out, I LOVED IT. Slowly, on my days off from teaching, on weekends and late nights, my middle grade book started to grow.


As I wrote, I learned that writing a middle grade novel was anything but “basic”. What started as a simple story of a boy and his grandmother took on a life of its own. It grew larger and more adventurous than I ever could have predicted. After a year of writing and thinking and learning about butterflies and moths, The Samosa Rebellion was finished. Writing it was maybe the most fun I’ve ever had.


I can’t wait for you to read it.


September 21, 2021: Virtual author event!

Shanthi Sekaran joins two middle grade authors:  Saadia Faruqui, author of Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero and Tanita Davis, author of Partly Cloudy. More information and registration here.

4 pm Pacific/ 7 pm Eastern

Hosted by Brave + Kind Books (Decatur, GA)

Sponsored by Shelf Stuff

This is a free online event.

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For speaking engagements and event appearances, please contact Dawn Stuart at Books in Common:

Tel: 541.318.6288 |

For press and rights queries, please contact Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, Inc.  Agent: Lindsay Edgecombe, 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2407, New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212.337.0934 | Fax: 212.337.0948 |

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To schedule an interview with Shanthi Sekaran or request a review copy, please contact

Lauren Levite at

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