Abha Dawesar

Novelist
Abha Dawesar writes to make sense of the world — herself included.

Why you should listen

Abha Dawesar began her writing career as an attempt to understand herself -- at age 7. It’s a goal that remains at the center of her work: Sensorium, her most recent novel, explores the nature of time, self, and uncertainty, using Hindu mythology and modern science as prisms. “At a very basic level, writing was always my way of apprehending the world,” she has said.

Dawesar moved from India to the United States to study at Harvard, and Delhi appears at the center of her novels Family Values and Babyji. But the oversimplified genres of immigrant fiction or ethnic fiction do not appeal to her. “Those looking for a constant South Asian theme or Diaspora theme or immigrant theme will just be disappointed in the long run from my work,” she has said. “The only label I can put up with is that of a writer. And my ideas come from everywhere.”

What others say

“[T]he charm of [her] second novel is in the unsaid, the creeping uncertainties that have less to do with Heisenberg than with the heart.” — The Boston Phoenix

Abha Dawesar’s TED talks

Abha Dawesar on the TED Blog

Live from TEDGlobal 2013

The dangers of the digital now: Abha Dawesar at TEDGlobal 2013

June 14, 2013

Indian novelist Abha Dawesar explores the self and technology’s — ahem — impact on the self in the penultimate session of TEDGlobal, “Tech Impact.” Dawesar reflects on how time-warping technology, like social media and mobile devices, has changed our perception of our own personal narratives and perception. We live, instead, in what she calls the […]

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