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“Each student needs to be connected to in a different way…My first duty as a professor is to hear what the student is saying or would say if she had more access to her own feelings. ”
Sharma Pic
Assistant Professor
English Department for Creative Writing
Department of English
Rutgers University–Newark

Dr. Sharma's Story

Dr. Sharma's most recent novel, Family Life, won the 2015 Folio Prize for Fiction. In addition, this novel has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times Book Review (“Riveting… Sharma is compassionate but unflinching”), Booklist [“If the first rule of strong writing is, show, don’t tell (and it is) Sharma is a grand master, a black belt, an Olympic champion”], Publishers Weekly (“A loving portrait, both painful and honest”), Elle (“Bracingly vivid… Has the ring of all devastatingly good writing: truth”), and the Boston Globe (“...Sharma gives us a fully imagined world, both hard and consoling”), to cite just a few of the rave reviews. His first book, An Obedient Father, a novel set in Delhi during the period of Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination, won the Pen-Hemingway prize and has been published in numerous languages.

He is also an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly as well as a number of other publications. Mr. Sharma’s stories have been anthologized three times in Best American Short Stories and twice in The O. Henry Award Winners. In 2007, Mr. Sharma was included in Granta’s list of Best Young American novelists. He joined the faculty of the Rutgers Newark English Department/MFA Program in Fall, 2011 and won the 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.

In what ways do you best support and mentor your students?
I have taught at Harvard and Stanford and our Rutgers-Newark students are as smart as any at those institutions. What our students need is more training and more confidence. My goal is to do what I can to bridge the gap between our students and their potential. To teach such extraordinary students is a privilege.

Preparing for this academic journey...
The best way that graduate and undergraduate students can prepare themselves for studying English and creative writing at Rutgers-Newark is by having a sense of their likes and dislikes and then being able to defend their likes and dislikes. It is by knowing where you stand that you can begin building.

What makes the RU-N teaching experience so valuable for your students?
We have world-class faculty who are deeply and morally committed to helping their students. This personal engagement from faculty is what makes being a student at RU-N special.