Author Vikram Chandra was born in New Delhi, India in 1961. He attended college in the United States receiving a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Pomona College and attended the film school at Columbia University before dropping out to work on his first novel. His first novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, was inspired by an autobiography of a nineteenth century soldier named Colonel James "Sikander" Skinner. It won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. His next novel, Love and Longing in Bombay, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Eurasia region) and was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize. In 2000, he and Suketu Mehta co-wrote the Bollywood movie Mission Kashmir. He teaches creative writing at the University of California and currently divides his time between Berkeley, California and Mumbai.