Stephen Alter is the author of more than 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. He was born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, and much of his writing focuses on the Himalayan region. His novel, Birdwatching, received the 2023 Green Book of the Year Award at the Green Literature Festival, Bengaluru. Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth (Aleph 2019) received the 2020 Banff Mountain Book Award in the Mountain Environment and Natural History category and the 2021 Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan Literature. It was also shortlisted for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Prize. Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime (Aleph 2014) received the 2015 Kekoo Naoroji Award. In The Jungles of the Night: A Novel about Jim Corbett (Aleph 2016) was shortlisted for the DSC South Asian Literature Award. He has written extensively on natural history, folklore and mountain culture, particularly in his travel memoir Sacred Waters: A Pilgrimage to the Many Sources of the Ganga. Educated at Woodstock School and Wesleyan University, Alter has taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, where he was director of the writing program for seven years. Following this, he was a writer-in-residence at MIT for ten years. Among the honours he has received are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the East West Centre in Hawaii, and the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture. His most recent novel is Death in Shambles: A Hill Station Mystery and his latest non-fiction book, is The Cobra’s Gaze: Exploring India’s Wild Heritage.