A distinguished novelist and socialite, Shobhaa De’s contribution in literature is considerably well-known. With a career spanning over half a decade , she is known for her fierce, bold and outgoing persona and sharp observations on politics, society, economy and relationships.
Shobhaa started as a model at the age of 17 and further began her career as a journalist by writing ‘agony aunt’ advice columns for society magazines. At 23 she founded Stardust, a magazine that included Bollywood interviews, gossip and photographs.
Shobhaa was appreciated for her column ‘Politically Incorrect’ in The Times of India focusing on various issues ranging from social, economical to political dynamics.
Shobhaa diverted her attention towards literary writing and published her debut novel titled, Socialite Evenings. Her novel explores the dynamics of elites of Indian society highlighting the decay of social values, morality and culture. She also talks about socialites being immoral and degenerated trading their moral values for materialistic gain in the book. Though the novel was highly criticized for its controversial content, it was a commercial success.
More than 17 novels of Shobhaa have climbed to be the bestselling books charts at once. Shobhaa’s daring to voice her opinions and thoughts in her writing has helped in the rise of women’s fiction work. Four of her books are course material in the University of London and her work features extensively in comparative literature courses at universities abroad and within India.
There are over 100 dissertations on her work in various libraries worldwide and an academic examination of her books, The Fiction of Shobhaa De, features 40 critical essays by academics. She is credited with introducing ‘Hinglish’, a heady, irreverent mix of Hindi and English.
Her second novel Starry Nights inspired by the dynamics of the Indian showbiz industry was a success. Her other book named Spouse – The Truth About Marriage describes the institution of marriage in urban society leading to sell over twenty thousand copies on its first day of official launch.
Shobhaa is also recognized for scriptwriting first ever soap Swabhiman in Indian Television. She has also hosted a television show Power Trip and participated in several debates adding to her popularity. Simultaneously she was writing columns such as The Sexes for an Indian news magazine ‘The Week’.
Shobhaa De has participated in several literary festivals including Bangalore Literature Festival and has been a part of it since its first edition. She is also known as the “Jackie Collins of India”.
Awards and Accomplishments
Awards and Accomplishments
- Featured on the Reader’s Digest list of “India’s Most Trusted People” along with Ratan Tata and Dr. Abdul Kalam.
- Honored with her own imprint under the Penguin Random House umbrella in 2019
- Featured on the list of India’s “100 Most Impactful Indians” over the past 15 years, by VERVE Magazine in the Collector’s edition.
- Featured as one of 5 “Great Indian Writers Who Changed the Meaning of Books” along with R.K. Narayan, Arundhati Roy and Kushwant Singh on India Today’s education site in 2015
- She was on the Absolute Power List 2014, featuring just 8 super achievers including Barkha Dutt, Chanda Kochhar and Kiran Majumdar Shaw.
- Featured on the list of Google’s “20 Most Searched Indian Women” of 2014
- Featured as “The 50 Most Powerful People in India on VERVE’s list.
Why Shobhaa De ?
Shobhaa De’s legitimacy is what makes her stand out from all. Her integrity and bravery in presenting her thoughts to the world has gained her immense popularity and respect. From bestselling novels and praiseworthy columns to writing soaps, her work and experience is an inspiration for the new generation of aspiring writers.