Vikas Swarup was born in Allahabad (India) in a family of lawyers.
After his schooling, Vikas attended Allahabad University and studied History, Psychology and Philosophy. He also made his mark as a champion debater, winning National level competitions. After graduating with distinction, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986, motivated by an interest in international relations and a desire to explore different cultures.
In his diplomatic career, Vikas has been posted to various countries such as Turkey (1987-1990), the United States (1993-1997) Ethiopia (1997-2000) and the United Kingdom (2000-2003). Since August 2006 he has been posted in Pretoria as India’s Deputy High Commissioner.
Q&A is his first novel. Published by Doubleday/Random House (UK & Commonwealth), Harper Collins (Canada) and Scribner (US) it has been translated into 36 languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Taiwanese, Thai, and Hebrew. It was short listed for the Best First Book by the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize and won South Africa’s Exclusive Books Boeke Prize 2006 as well as the Paris Book Fair's Reader's Prize, the Prix Grand Public, in 2007. It was voted the Most Influential Book of 2008 in Taiwan.
Harper Collins brought out the audio book, read by Kerry Shale, which won the award for Best Audio Book of the Year 2005. The BBC produced a radio play based on the book which won the Gold Award for Best Drama at the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2008 and the IVCA Clarion Award 2008. The film version of Q&A, titled ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, directed by Danny Boyle, has taken the world by storm and won more than 50 awards including four Golden Globes and 11 BAFTA nominations.
Vikas's second novel Six Suspects was published by Transworld in August 2008. It is being translated into several languages and has been optioned for a radio play as well as a film by Starfield Productions and the BBC.
Vikas's short story ‘A Great Event’ has been published in ‘The Children’s Hours: Stories of Childhood’, a bold and moving anthology of stories about childhood to support Save the Children and raise awareness for its fight to end violence against children.
Vikas has participated in the Oxford Literary Festival, the Turin International Book Fair, the Auckland Writers’ Conference, the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Kitab Festival in New Delhi, the St. Malo International Book & Film Festival in France, and the 'Words on Water' Literary Festival at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Apart from reading, Vikas enjoys listening to music and playing cricket, tennis and table tennis.
His wife Aparna is an artist who has held exhibitions in India and abroad. They have two sons Aditya and Varun.