Shilpi Suneja was born in Kanpur, India, an industrial town with a dark colonial past, four hours southeast of New Delhi. At the age of fifteen, she moved with her parents to a tiny village in North Carolina, where she got her first job as a housekeeper at a motel. College almost didn't happen for Shilpi until her mom insisted that education was more important than a paycheck. Soon after, Shilpi graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from NC State, and later with an MA in English from NYU, an MFA from BU, and another MFA from UMass Boston. In 2018 Shilpi was awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for portions of her first novel. Her short fiction and essays, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, appear in Arrowsmith, Asia Literary Review, Bat City Review, Cognoscenti, Consequence, Guernica, Hyphen, Kartika Review, Kafila, Little Fiction, McSweeney's, Michigan Quarterly Review, Solstice, Stirring Lit, and TwoCircles.Net among other places. In 2019 Shilpi attended the Jack Jones Literary Retreat as a Desai Fellow. Her essay won the 2022 Bechtel Prize from Teachers & Writers Magazine. Her first novel about the long shadow of the Indian Partition of 1947, her grandfather's story of migration from Lahore to Kanpur, was published in September 2023 from Milkweed Editions.