About.

I began as a sculptor. Of welded steel.

I studied art for many years. Now I write about art…and other areas including food, wine, fashion, art, travel, culture, spirituality, nature, gender, and gadgets. Yes, I know, I am more fox than hedgehog.

I have been a columnist for Mint Lounge, Hindustan Times Brunch and The National Abu Dhabi. I am overseas correspondent for Radio New Zealand, and previously, was commentator for National Public Radio (NPR). A television show called Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie thought me eccentric enough to feature as a character in five episodes. Trailer here. I do podcasts about ancient India, birds and wine.

I write books. Non fiction memoirs. Four so far and more (hopefully) on the way.

I have taught at IIM-Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I graduated from the Columbia Journalism Program which awarded me a Pulitzer Fellowship– I used it to spend time in Israel. I also won a James Beard award. I am an alumnus of Mount Holyoke College and Women’s Christian College, Chennai.

I love handcrafted textiles and founded Project LooM, a website that showcases India’s handloom clusters. I am fascinated by aesthetics: how the human race created objects of beauty such as jewellery, textiles, crafts and perfumes. I serve on the board of Neev Academy and Industree Foundation.

Short Bio.

Author, Columnist, Content Creator, Journalist

Shoba Narayan is the author of four books. She has been a journalist and columnist for 25 years, writing about travel, food, wine, culture, crafts and nature, for a number of national and international publications. She has won a James Beard Award for her food writing and a Pulitzer Fellowship. She has taught and lectured at universities. She founded and co-created a website called Project LooM, which documents the handloom traditions of India. She is a birdwatcher, wine-drinker and gadget geek. Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.

Oddities

In case you too are weird this way

I speak Tamil and English fluently. I also speak French, German, Russian and Kannada– but people don’t understand me.

I am an enthusiastic if poor dancer. I learned an Indian classical dance form called bharatanatyam.

I sing Indian classical Carnatic music. Have a Soundcloud account.

I wanted to be an acupuncturist but enrolled in Journalism-school instead. Informally, I study and practice acupuncture, alternative healing, movement therapies, mindfulness, and everything linked to the mind-body connection.

I watch birds, bees, butterflies and moths, usually from my balcony. I would like to retreat to a forest when I retire.

I am a feminist who likes men, drinks wine, and wears high heels or lipstick occasionally.

I studied psychology in college– Carl Jung and his psychology of dreams and shadows are what I continue to study.

Experience

Where I brag a little

The spectrum of storytelling excites me.  Books allow for nuance and depth. Journalism is immediate and succinct. Websites are flexible and interactive. Podcasts are user-friendly. I seek to tell stories in all these mediums, along with song, art  and performance.

01. BOOKS

I am the author of four books, all non fiction memoirs. They are listed below.

02. ANCHORING MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS.

This is what I currently love best. I have worked with select brand to create websites that highlight brand-values with cultural traditions such as textiles, jewellery, perfumes and crafts. Customizing content for short and long attention spans is an art and a skill.

03. JOURNALISM.

I write essays, columns and opinion pieces. I travel to report on issues and events. I review hotels, gadgets and classes. I interview and profile people and places.

Storyteller.

We live to tell stories. We make sense of the world through stories. We connect– with ourselves and the world– through stories.
FINDING STORIES IN THE EVERYDAY 85%
ANCHORING MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS 90%
WORKING WITH TEAMS 78%
WRITING COLUMNS 93%
REPORTING AND JOURNALISM 85%
SOCIAL MEDIA 94%

Books.

WORDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

I write non-fiction memoirs that are rooted in India, have a touch of humor, and deal with relationships, identity and traditions

“An absolute joy to read. Through close encounters of the bovine kind, Shoba Narayan shows how traditions are incorporated into daily life.” “Sincere and laugh-out-loud funny.”

THE MILK LADY OF BANGALORE

“Shoba Narayan is that rarity in the food world: She has both a unique story and the lyrical skills to tell it.”

MONSOON DIARY

“A memoir about what it means to leave home and then return.”

“A memoir about the eternal immigrant dilemma– what is home and when to return.”

RETURN TO INDIA

“A masterclass in the art of storytelling for business leaders. It will help startup founders sell their dream to venture capitalists and CEOs spread their message to colleagues.”

KATHA: TELL A STORY, SELL A DREAM

Teaching.

I have taught at universities and schools and lectured widely

As the daughter of a college professor, I love to teach and engage with new ideas. I have taught courses at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore among others. I have lectured at Carnegie Mellon University and other US colleges.

If you have a project that could use my skills, let’s talk

Email me: shoba@shobanarayan.com

More photos available here.

Bio in Google Docs here

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