Vauhini Vara to Speak at Inspired Writers Series, April 20

Vauhini Vara to Speak at Inspired Writers Series, April 20

Headshot of writer Vauhini Vara

Vauhini Vara

The College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing Program will present award-winning business and technology writer Vauhini Vara on at noon.

For the final Inspired Writers Series discussion of the semester, Phil Klay, author and instructor in the MFA in Creative Writing program, will moderate a conversation with acclaimed writer Vauhini Vara on Thursday, April 20 at noon. This free, virtual event is open to the public and is a companion speaker series to the MFA program. Inspired Writers Series events are designed to not only provide encouragement and inspiration for writers, but also to inform, entertain, and enlighten any participant with lively discussions from top authors. 

“Vauhini Vara has a truly rare combination of talents,” said Klay. “She’s incredibly sharp on modern technology. She can brilliantly explore how that technology intersects with not only our economy and government but with our sense of ourselves, our desire for connection and permanence and self-expression. And she’s just a beautiful writer of characters and scenes. The result is one of the most compelling and revelatory novels about the age of Big Tech that I’ve ever read.” 

Vauhini Vara was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, as a child of Indian immigrants, and grew up there and in Oklahoma and the Seattle suburbs. Her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao (W.W. Norton), will be followed by a story collection, This is Salvaged, in September of 2023.

She began her writing career as a technology reporter at The Wall Street Journal and later launched, edited, and wrote for the business section of The New Yorker’s website. Since then, her writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Businessweek, and elsewhere. She is a Wired contributing writer and can sometimes be found working as a story editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Vara studied creative writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her fiction has been published in McSweeney’sTin HouseZyzzyva, and other journals. Her essay in The Believer about grief, “Ghosts,” also adapted for a This American Life episode, will be anthologized in Best American Essays 2022.

In 2020, her oral history of globalization in Businessweek won a South Asian Journalists Association Award and was longlisted for a One World Media Award. A piece in The Believer about tiny houses won a National Association of Real Estate Editors Award. Past journalism has been honored by the Asian American Journalists Association, the International Center for Journalists, the McGraw Center for Business Journalism, and the International Journalists’ Programmes. Her fiction has received an O. Henry Award, as well as honors from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, MacDowell, and Yaddo.

Vara is a mentor at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Book Project and the secretary for Periplus, a collective mentoring writers of color. She also sits on the board of the Krishna D. Vara Foundation, which awards an annual scholarship to a graduating high school student at Mercer Island High School in memory of her sister Krishna, who died of cancer in 2001. She lives in Colorado with her husband, the writer Andrew Altschul, and their son.

For more information about the Inspired Writers Series and to register for this event, please visit the

Inspired Writers Series: Vauhini Vara
Hosted by MFA Program’s Phil Klay

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2023
Time: 12 noon
Location: Virtual:

Additional Details:

Free event; Registration is required.

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