Vikram Chandra was born in New Delhi, but travelled to the United States as an undergraduate student where he studied at Pomona College (in Claremont, near Los Angeles) and later the Film School at Columbia University in New York.
Red Earth and Pouring Rain was written over several years at the writing programs at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston. Vikram worked with John Barth at Johns Hopkins and with Donald Barthelme at the University of Houston; he obtained an MA at Johns Hopkins and an MFA at the University of Houston.
Red Earth and Pouring Rain was published in 1995 by Penguin/India in India, by Faber and Faber in the UK, and by Little, Brown in the United States. It won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. Other titles include Love and Longing in Bombay, Sacred Games, and Geek Sublime.
Vikram Chandra currently divides his time between Mumbai and Berkeley, California, where he teaches creative writing at the University of California. He lives with his wife Melanie Abrams, who is also a novelist.