Lakshmi Raj Sharma is a professor of English at the University of Allahabad. He began writing fiction only after the age of forty-five before which he was preoccupied with serious academic study and writing. He is still involved with academic research even though his growing passion for writing fiction is gradually taking over. His most recent scholarly work is the book, Literary Fiction: Its Debt to Shakespeare, which he hopes to publish in 2019. He is a frequently invited speaker at literary conferences and in writers’ gatherings all over India. He conducts workshops and gives lectures on Creative Writing and the Craft of Fiction.
What is unique about Sharma is his discovery of what makes a great narrator. He believes that a person who is placed in a somewhat weak position in society will make a better narrator than one who is well-placed or confident. The deprived, the oppressed, and sometimes even the nervous or anxious, can make good narrators in a work of fiction. His writing is often marked by a viewing of the world through a man or woman who feels unsettled or unsure of themselves.
Having grown up in the small town of Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh) where people from Europe and America kept trickling in for business, and often staying on, Sharma interacted with these and acquired a more global perspective. His stories are often marked by this interaction, tending to be of a multicultural nature. “I am an Indian who can think globally,” he once said at a gathering of scholars. His love for Indian classical music is balanced by his fondness for Western music.
Sharma has written a number of very successful stage plays that he chose not to publish because of their local flavour. His fiction is imbued with his love for drama. Sharma believes that much of what he has written is the result of his continued involvement with Shakespeare’s writings.