Zara Chowdhary is a writer and educator from India. She now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her son and cat and teaches langauge and South Asian culture at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University and an MA in Writing for Performance from the University of Leeds. She has worked in stage, TV and film production for over twelve years. Her writing interests range from fantasy and climate-fiction to memoir and speculative journalism.
She is represented by Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary.
Her current project is a political memoir under contract with Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House). The manuscript was chosen as a finalist by author Alexander Chee in 2020, who wrote about it,
"“The Lucky Ones is a story rescued from a fire. An account and an accounting both of the 2002 Gujarat Pogrom, a three month siege that changed the course of Indian political history, helping to install Narendra Modi and set India on its present course. In her debut, Chowdhary has written a singular mix of personal reportage, memoir and history to give us a vision, not just of the atrocity she and her family lived through, but also a story of the genocidal attack, the history to the attack, and where that history intersects with contemporary India's history and the larger history of global fascism. She moves across these modes--the personal, the historical, the critical--so nimbly you might miss how hard it must be to write this way, much less to survive and speak for the lost to a world that does not, perhaps, even know they were lost. Few stories have offered is an understanding of how Islamophobia is used to motivate vigilantism and sanction state violence in the rush toward autocracy, though, as this one does. A warning, thrown to the world, and a stunning debut--Chowdhary is a much needed new voice in our literature."