Ashok Rajamani is busy dancing among the dewdrops in the garden since hearing that his Pulitzer Prize-Luminary Commended Memoir, 'THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY' (published by Algonquin Books), might be optioned for the big screen.
Hailing from New York City, he is a Prize-Luminary Commended author, artist, poet, radio host, and speaker.
Most importantly, he is the survivor of a catastrophic, near-fatal brain hemorrhage at the age of 25. Though surviving, he was left with lifelong bisected blindness, epilepsy, distorted hearing, erratic transient amnesia, metal staples in his brain, and ultimately, a carved skull courtesy of open brain surgery. The final consequence of his body's very own 9-11: his first book -- an irreverent and decidedly unconventional memoir about a day that exploded not only his brain, but the world around him, entitled THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY.
The memoir received worldwide acclaim, include raves from Pulitzer Prize Luminary Jane Smiley, Publisher's Weekly, Harper's Magazine, Booklist, The Times of India, Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC, and more. Ashok also performed the unabridged audio production of the book, which was called by Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, Medical Director Emeritus of the Brain Injury Association of America, a “groundbreaking masterpiece.”
After the hemorrhage, he emerged as a proud brain injury rights advocate, becoming a board member of the International Brain Injury Survivors Network, Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Brain Injury Association of America, and guest host on Brain Injury Radio.
Ashok is also an accomplished artist, having studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and School of Visual Arts. His artwork has been submitted and exhibited in galleries and shows such as Greenpoint Gallery, Exit Art New York, and the Pancakes & Booze shows -- the nationwide Art Pop-Up events.
In addition to being a writer and artist, Ashok is a nationwide speaker, having conducted multiple reading engagements and talks in events and venues such as United Nations International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy; “Masala in Words: A Night of South Asian American Writers,” New York City (headliner); Barnes & Noble, multiple nationwide locations; Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta GA; “Explosion of the Explosion” Brain injury Book Launch, New York City; “Brain Injury as Confession,” New York City; “Brain Injury Warriors,” New York City; and Brain Injury Association of New York State.
He’s also the winner of the Peoples’ Choice Telly Award (for the TV special “Interview with Ashok Rajamani”).
Finally entering the digital age following his memoir, he decided to release his next works electronically: a flash audio production entitled IF THESE SARIS COULD TALK:A MONOLOGUE OF GOSSIP and a book of literary criticism on Literature and Myth, entitled IMAGINE CARNIVALESQUE: A DUO OF PSYCHOANALYTICAL ESSAYS ON SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE AND GENDER IDENTITY.
Ashok has been a featured writer in other books/journals/magazines including: Scholars & Rogues, South Asian Review, Three Line Poetry, Orion Headless, Catamaran, 50 Haikus, Monsters of the Rue Macabre, Armageddon Buffet, Pulp Metal Literary Magazine, and dozens more. He belongs to the Authors Guild, Indo-American Arts Council, New York Writers Coalition, South Asian Journalists Association, and has been named as a nationally recognized poet in Poets & Writers Magazine's Directory of American Poets.
Previous to the hemorrhage, Ashok worked as a senior-level publicist in New York City, for global entertainment, media, technology and corporate clients. A self-acknowledged Hindu hick, he grew up in a town near a cornfield in Illinois, before fleeing to The Big Apple at the age of 17, where he's lived ever since.
He is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, where he received his Journalism degree with Kappa Tau Alpha honors. He attended Columbia University for advanced cultural studies.
His turn-ons include: Kathy Bates in Misery. His turn-offs include: tomato chunks.