Shilpa Agarwal is the host of the weekly radio show and podcast, LIFEFORCE, exploring the magical, mystical force that awakens our lives. LIFEFORCE airs globally on Rukus Avenue Radio and Dash Radio on Sundays. Click here for broadcast schedule.
Shilpa is the author of Haunting Bombay, a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a winner of the First Words Literary Prize for South Asian Writers. Published internationally, Shilpa's debut novel was compared to the work of Isabelle Allende, Jhumpa Lahiri, Marcel Proust, and Edgar Allan Poe, and noted for its unforgettable characters; the story infused with magical realism, myth, history, and a haunting evocation of the unknown.
Shilpa was featured on the United Nations‘ 2017 album, Music to Inspire: Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking, along with former President Jimmy Carter, Grammy Award-winning musicians, and over fifty artists from around the world.
Shilpa has been a freelance writer for the upcoming Disney animated TV show, Mira, Royal Detective. Her drama pilot, Snake Girl was featured at the 2017 Artwallah Arts Festival. Her short theater play, Possession, was the closing act at the Evoke Festival/South Asians for Justice at East-West Players. She co-produced Awaz, a compilation of South Asian hip-hop, raga-jazz, urban-funk and spoken word that premiered on KPFK Los Angeles. She has been a freelance writer for the LA Weekly.
Shilpa served as Fiction Editor at Angels Flight • literary west, a literary and cultural journal focused on Los Angeles and its stories, and a hub of justice, voice, and community. She is a founder and former Artistic Director of the South Asian American arts festival, ArtWallah, a mentor for the PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship, and a freelance editor. She studied international and women‘s literatures as an undergraduate at Duke University, and postcolonial and resistance literatures as a doctoral student at UCLA. She taught at UCLA and UCSB.
She is a writer of social justice and the inner world, seeking truth where it has been buried, and striving always for moments of hope, strength, and grace. Her writing is informed by glimpses into moments of alienation and awakening, especially during metaphoric crossings: the living meet the dead, the heavens and earth clash, the powerful and the powerless collide. Shilpa writes to call up the haunting utterances of the excluded, to excavate fragmentary memories that edge consciousness, and to imagine a more nuanced narrative of history itself. She is currently working on a script, and on a trilogy that reclaims and resurrects the female body.