Shekhar Paleja graduated from the University of Calgary with his BFA in Theatre, and has many film and theatre credits to his name. He has also published two children's books, Native Americans: A Visual Exploration and Power Up!. An Extraordinary Destiny is his debut novel.
"I appreciated Paleja's ability to tell the story and depict the characters as complex people, not just stereotypes. . . . The inconclusive ending frustrated me, but also felt fitting. The religious tensions are still present, there are always generational pressures within families, and there is no easy "happily ever after" solution for most characters. The characters in An Extraordinary Destiny were complex enough that a simple tying of up loose ends wouldn't be sufficient. I enjoy historical fiction where I can learn (and usually Wiki-binge after to learn more) while enjoying the storytelling, and Paleja's novel hit the spot." --Monica, Monnibo blog-- (07/27/2017) An Extraordinary Destiny . . . by Shekhar Paleja establishes him as an author to look up to. His writing is authentic, his voice is strong and complex, and his characters are living beings worthy of following . . . a well-researched, entertaining and an eye-opening narration of a coming of age story that can help you relate to a culture you'd otherwise never experience. -- (08/07/2017) In a moment awake to the spectres of fascism in America and Europe, one can only be struck by the scarcity of international attention to the well-established Hindu nationalism in India. Shekhar Paleja's debut novel charts this movement's rise by examining the currency of the kundali . . . A good start for a debut novelist; a worthy read for the arc of the story. -- (04/28/2017) Epic . . . Shekhar Paleja's debut marks the arrival of a stunning new writer . . . The comparisons to the work of award-winning Indian-American novelist Jhumpa Lahiri are going to be inevitable and fast coming. -- (04/13/2017)