Growing up in Pennsylvania, Rashi attended a school affiliated with the Moravian Church and so developed an abiding love for lesser-told histories. During visits to her grandparents’ house in Bihar, India, she discovered Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn on their bookshelves and decided to learn Russian, which she did at Georgetown University, earning a degree in comparative South Asian and Soviet/post-Soviet area studies. During her time there, she co-won the Ora Mary Phelam Poetry Prize.
Fascinated by the ways in which cultures seem to intersect outside of prevailing narratives, she worked as a Spanish-to-Russian translator and Hindi teacher during her study period in Russia. At the University of Chicago, she began to research the intellectual history of Soviet Indology. She was quickly derailed by a chance discovery in the library, and spent the next several years at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London writing about global perspectives in Hindi literature amongst mainly Bihari Indo-Mauritians. Now an associate professor at Nord University, she continues to present and publish her research on world literature. Her translation of the seminar Mauritian novel Blood-Red Sweat [Lal Pasina] will be released in 2020 with Prabhat Publications, New Delhi.
In 2014, she worked towards a teaching qualification, teaching marginalized East London high school students during the day and privileged American undergraduates in the evenings; in February of that school year, the Bethnal Green trio left East London to join ISIS and formulating her response to the event for both groups of students, she began to think about the characters of Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow. In 2015, she began to publish fiction and poetry, and in 2016, she returned to her hometown and, in the valley she’d left shortly after 9/11 and returned to shortly before Trump’s election, she wrote the story of a girl who has no plans to become anything more than what has been promised to her by history – until those promises become untenable.
Since 2017, Rashi has lived in Norway with her partner and son. When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, you can find her at one of the glorious Arctic beaches she insists are perfect in any weather.
Books by Rashi Rohatgi