Shruti Swamy

Cindy Seip

Shruti Swamy is the author of the story collection A House Is a Body. Her work has been published by The Paris Review and McSweeney’s, and anthologized in O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut novel, The Archer (Algonquin Books), is a bold portrait of a singular woman coming of age as an artist, navigating desire, duty, and the limits of the body. It is also an electrifying and immersive story about the transformative power of art and the possibilities that love can open when we’re ready. Vidya’s childhood is marked by the shattering absence and bewildering reappearance of her mother and baby brother at the family home. Restless, observant, and longing for connection with her brilliant and increasingly troubled mother, Vidya one day peeks into a classroom where girls are learning kathak. This dazzling, centuries-old dance form requires the utmost discipline and focus. Soon, pursuing artistic transcendence through kathak becomes the organizing principle of her life. And as an uncertain future looms, she must ultimately confront the tensions between romantic love, her art, and the legacy of her own imperfect mother. BookPage noted that it “blends the corporeal and the spiritual in a story about what it means to be a woman and an artist. Swamy’s writing is transportive, precise and almost hypnotic. [Her] perceptive and observant eye misses nothing.”