Mangalorean.com proudly presents a unique personality and a hidden gem, Mr. Richard Crasta who was born in Bangalore and grew up in Mangalore in the Nineteen sixities and early seventies. He is the proud son of Mr. John Baptist Crasta, Kinnigoli, and Mrs. Christine D’Souza of Mangalore. Mr. Crasta has two brothers and a sister. Son of a World War II veteran and prisoner-of-war who survived a Japanese prison camp against great odds, Crasta had a strict Catholic upbringing.
Mr. Crasta holds a B.A. in Economics, History and Political Science from the University of Mysore, India, M.A. in Literature and Communication from American University, Washington D.C., Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University, New York. He also attended the Breadloaf and Aspen Writer’s Conferences and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Mr. Crasta bragged a University Rank in B.A. and University Gold Medal in Economics.
Mr. Crasta says: “I have given all to my writing and books. Nobody can really know me and understand me unless he or she reads my books. To many readers, my books have vividly brought life to Mangalorean society and convent schools and Jesuit boarding schools. In my other books, I often speak for the common man, for the voice of those who are not heard. I think of writing as a noble profession, a calling that needs the support of the public if it is to be exercised honestly and with integrity, without pondering, and without concocting a product that is designed to become a bestseller.”
Mangaloreans loved Richard Crasta's novel, The Revised Kama Sutra, because it brought back memories of a Mangalore that was quickly passing away into history, and because its glossary was full of Konkani words such as biknas, polo, and pilkato, and Konkani words are freely mixed with English words. Others, including reviewers, have described the book as being very funny. After obtaining a degree in Literature and Journalism at American University in Washington D.C., he worked for a New York literary agency and taught English at a New York college. Provocatively and ironically titled The Revised Kama Sutra, it was first published by Viking Penguin India, and was, briefly, a controversial sensation. It told the story of a Catholic boy, born in Mangalore, who goes to America. Now, as The Revised Kama Sutra is presently out of print in India, a publisher has come out with the first half in the form a new book called "One Little Indian", where the focus on Mangalore is even greater.
Mr. Crasta came to USA in January 1979, to do a Masters in English Literature and become a writer.
BOOKS PUBLISHED & WORKS-IN-PROGRESS:
- THE REVISED KAMA SUTRA: A Novel. Dec. 1993, Viking Penguin India, nominated for Commonwealth Writers Prize; Fourth Estate, U.K., 1994 nominated for Booker Prize; Six other editions/translations, including German and Czech.
- BEAUTY QUEENS, CHILDREN, AND THE DEATH OF SEX: HarperCollins India, 1997
- IMPRESSING THE WHITES: Invisible Man Press, India, and Singapore, 2000.
- ONE LITTLE INDIAN (novel): Drone Quill Publishers, India, published in 2003.
Works In Progress: A Memoir, a Book of Essays, and a socio-cultural critique.
WRITING, EDITING, PUBLISHING & TEACHING EXPERIENCE:
- Writer/Columnist, The Indian-American Magazine, The Independent, Bombay, India, and Business Standard.
- President, Invisible Man Press: published two books; web content; book fairs.
- Freelance writer, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Tower Air Magazine, Cosmopolitan.
- Faculty, Dept. of English, New York Institute of Technology.
- Editor, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, New York.
- As Under Secretary for Information, Tourism and Film Development, India.
- Wrote speeches for Minister for Tourism, CEO, project reports
ADMINISTRATIVE AND LIFE EXPERIENCE:
- Joint Director of Industries; Project Director; Subdivisional Magistrate-- India.
- STAY AT HOME FATHER (helped raise three boys); computer expce.
Essay in Anthology from St. Martin's Press, 1993; Opinion pieces, satire, travel pieces, and political analysis in Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Indian-American, The Times of India, India Today, India Today Plus, Tower Magazine, etc.
TELEVISION, MEDIA, PUBLIC SPEAKING:
Interviewed on BBC, prime-time Indian TV; over 40 print or radio interviews. Have written and/or delivered over 40 speeches.
Mr. Crasta has three sons, James, Studying at Georgia Institute of Technology; Dev, in high School, wants to become a writer; Rohit, in Middle School, might become a cartoonist.
Here is what he has to say to Mangalorean.com, especially to the youth:
“Be yourself, follow your dreams, and do not let others discourage you from being whoever you want to be. You have something special to give to the world, and no one else can give specifically what you were brought into the world to give.”
Mr. Crasta has two websites, www.invisiblemanpress.com and www.richardcrasta.com please visit his site for further information on his books and publications.
Mangalorean.com wishes Mr. Crasta and his family all the very best in his endeavors.
Submitted by: Queenie Mendonca