Shruti Swamy



As a child, Vidya exists to serve her family, watch over her younger brother, and make sense of a motherless world. One day she catches sight of a class where the students are learning Kathak, a precise, dazzling form of dance that requires the utmost discipline and focus. Kathak quickly becomes the organizing principle of Vidya's life, even as she leaves home for college, falls in love with her best friend, and battles demands on her time, her future, and her body. Can Vidya give herself over to her art and also be a wife in Bombay's carefully delineated society? Can she shed the legacy of her own imperfect, unknowable mother? Must she, herself, also become a mother?

Intensely lyrical and deeply sensual, with writing as rhythmically mesmerizing as Kathak itself, The Archer is about the transformative power of art and the possibilities that love can open when we're ready.


Shruti Swamy is the author of A House Is a Body: Stories, which was shortlisted for the the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. The winner of two O. Henry Awards, her fiction has been published in the Paris Review, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco.