Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. In college, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage, which seeded the idea for her first novel, Secret Daughter, published in 2010. It was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller, and was translated into over 30 languages. Secret Daughter was shortlisted for the South African Boeke Literary Prize, longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was an IndieNext Great Read, a Target Book Club Pick, a ChaptersIndigo Heather’s Pick, and an Amnesty International Book Club Pick.
Her second novel, The Golden Son, was published in 2015-16 around the world, was a #1 international bestseller, a Target Book Club Pick, a Costco Buyer’s Pick, and was awarded the French literary prize, Prix des Lyceens Folio. Her first two novels have sold over two million copies worldwide, and her third novel, The Shape of Family, will be published in October 2019 in Canada and March 2020 in the U.S.
Shilpi holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Children's Defense Fund, and is a Patron of Childhaven International, the organization for which she volunteered in India. She lives in California with her husband and children.