Samrat Upadhyay's first book, the short story collection Arresting God in Kathmandu (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), has been translated into French and Greek and was the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award as well as a pick for the 2001 Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Program. Upadhyay's stories have been read live on National Public Radio and published widely as well as in Scribner's Best of the Workshops and Best American Short Stories 1999.
Upadhyay's novel The Guru of Love (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year 2003, a San Franciso Chronicle Best Book of 2003, and a BookSense 76 collection. The novel was also a finalist for the 2004 Kiriyama Prize, and has been translated into several European languages.
Upadyhyay's story collection, The Royal Ghosts (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), won the 2007 Asian American Literary Award, the Society of Midland Authors Book Award, and was declared a Best of Fiction in 2006 by the Washington Post. The book was also a finalist for the Frank O'Connor Int'l Short Story Award from Ireland and for the Ohioana Book Award.
His second novel, Buddha's Orphans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has been called a novel of "ambition and heft" by The New York Times and "beautifully told" by Publishers Weekly, which gave it a starred review. The novel has been translated into German and Czech. It was also longlisted for the DSC Prize in India.
Upadhyay has also co-edited the anthology Secret Places: New Writing from Nepal (University of Hawai'i Press), published in Winter 2001 as a special issue of Manoa magazine.
His new novel, The City Son, is forthcoming from Soho Press in 2014.
Upadhyay received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2020 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to Indiana University.