Mishi Saran’s first novel, The Other Side of Light (HarperCollins India, June 2012) was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. Her travel book-cum-memoir Chasing the Monk’s Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang (Penguin, 2005) is available in hardback, paperback and e-book versions, as well as in a French translation. The book was shortlisted for the 2006 Hutch-Crossword Award for Literary Non-Fiction, and long listed for the 2006 Lettres Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. To research the book, Saran spent a year tracing the footsteps of Xuanzang, a 7th Century Chinese Buddhist monk who travelled along the Silk Road from China to India, passing through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Saran is currently working on her third book, also a novel, set in Shanghai in the 1930s, as well as researching the history of Parsis in China.

Saran writes in English and is also fluent in Mandarin, French and Hindi. Following an undergraduate degree in Chinese Studies from Wellesley College (USA), she worked in Hong Kong as a news reporter and as a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in a variety of international publications including the Los Angeles Review of Books ( and Quartz (, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, the South China Morning Post and the Asian Wall Street Journal. Her short stories have won awards and been broadcast on the BBC.

Saran was born in India and spent the first ten years of her life in New Delhi. Since then, she has lived in Switzerland, Indonesia, the United States, China, Hong Kong and Korea. She moved back to Hong Kong in the summer of 2014, after eight years spent living in Shanghai.

Awards and Grants

Commonwealth Book Prize Fiction Shortlist (2013)

Chateau de Lavigny Writers Residency (Switzerland), 2009

Ledig House International Writers Residency (USA), 2007

Hutch-Crossword Literary Award for Non-Fiction, Shortlist (India), 2006

Lettre Ulysses Award, Longlist (Germany), 2006

Chasing the Monk’s Shadow on bestseller lists (India), 2005

Wellesley College Mary Elvira Stevens Travel Fellowship (USA), 2000

Arts Development Council Literary Committee Award (Hong Kong), 2000

 BBC World Service Short Story Competition: One of ten winning entries (U.K.), 2000

South China Morning Post Short Story Competition, Third Prize (Hong Kong), 1999

South China Morning Post Short Story Competition, First Prize (Hong Kong), 1998