• Faculty

  • Siddhartha Deb

    Associate Professor of Literary Studies


    Office Location
    B - 65 West 11th Street

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    Siddhartha Deb


    I grew up in a small town in the north-eastern region of India, a border region near Tibet, China, Burma, and Bangladesh. This is an obscure and turbulent area, and it has informed much of my work, including my two novels, The Point of Return and An Outline of the Republic. It has also given me a certain nomadic tendency, so that in spite of living in cities for the last two decades – in Calcutta, Delhi, and New York – I continue to travel to far-flung places.

    I see myself primarily as a novelist, influenced by a Goethean sense of world literature that demands widespread, constant reading of works of fiction from different parts of the world as well as history, politics, and ideas. But there are two other kinds of writing that supplement my central interest in fiction; literary criticism for a general audience and nonfiction based on reporting and research. The first allows me to consider questions of art and technique with intellectual rigor, reflecting my academic training in literature. The second emerges out of the work I have done as a journalist and makes me get out on the road and meet people and places, the rough, everyday material from which fiction is created.

    I bring all of these above interests and approaches into the classroom, and from my students I expect a similar wide-ranging engagement, demonstrating the artist’s passion,  the critic’s intellect, and the reporter’s endurance.

    Degrees Held

    M Phil, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

    Recent Publications

    The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India. Nonfiction, 2011. 

    “The Lost Generation of Manipur,” in Aids Sutra, Nonfiction. Random House, 2009.

    An Outline of the Republic. A Novel. Harpercollins Ecco, 2005.

    The Point of Return. A Novel. Harpercollins Ecco, 2003.

    Essays, articles, reviews and fiction have appeared in:

    Harpers, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Bookforum, The Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Lingua Franca, The Guardian (London), Observer (London), Times Literary Supplement (London), The Daily Telegraph (London), New Statesman (London), London Review of Books, KGB Barlit, Die Horen (Germany), Heat (Australia), Biblio (India), Civil Lines (India), The Conradian (UK), Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong).


    Research Interests

    The novel, literary journalism, narrative nonfiction, travel writing

    Awards And Honors

    Fellow, Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies, 2009-2010.

    The Nation Institute Investigative Fund, 2009.

    The Point of Return was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2003.

    An Outline of the Republic was longlisted for the Impac Dublin International Award, shortlisted for the Crossword Prize in India, and a book of the year in Daily Telegraph, London.

    Society of Authors (UK) grant, 2007.

    Future Courses

    Ind Senior Project
    LLSW 4990, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

    Independent Study
    LLSW 3950, Spring 2025

    Intermediate Fiction
    LLSW 3500, Fall 2024

    Intro Fiction
    LLSW 2020, Fall 2024

    RFW Fiction
    LLST 3006, Spring 2025

    Senior Seminar: Fiction
    LLSW 4991, Spring 2025

    Writing Speculative Fiction
    LLSW 3506, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Advanced Fiction
    LLSW 4000, Fall 2023

    Ind Senior Project
    LLSW 4990, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

    Independent Study
    LLSW 3950, Spring 2024

    Intermediate Fiction
    LLSW 3500, Spring 2024

    RFW Fiction
    LLST 3006, Fall 2023

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