Stephen Alter is the author of eighteen books of fiction and non-fiction. He was born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India and much of his writing focuses on the Himalayan region, where he continues to live and work.
Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime (Aleph/Arcade, 2015) is his most recent work of non-fiction. In The Jungles of the Night: A Novel about Jim Corbett (Aleph, 2016) is his latest work of fiction. The Secret Sanctuary (Puffin, 2015) is his most recent book for younger readers.
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, which describes a journey on foot along the pilgrim trails of the Uttarakhand Char DhamYatra.
Among the honors 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. In 2015 he received the Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan Literature, awarded by the Himalayan Club. Stephen Alter is founding director the Mussoorie Writers’ Mountain Festival, which has brought more than 150 authors, mountaineers, artists and musicians to Mussoorie since 2006.
Forty Years Ago ...
40 years ago, in October 1976, Khushwant Singh, the legendary editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India accepted my first short story, “Fascination.” It was published with illustrations by Mario Miranda. In October 2016, I was delighted to attend the 5th Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli.