Sonia Shah

Author and journalist

Sonia Shah was born in 1969 in New York City to Indian immigrants. Growing up, she shuttled between the northeastern United States and Mumbai and Bangalore, India, where her extended working-class family lived.

After receiving her B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio, where she studied journalism, philosophy and neuroscience, she took a position as managing editor of the anti-nuclear magazine Nuclear Times, where she wrote about militarism, race and foreign policy.

In 1993, she joined South End Press — an independent, collectively-run publisher of political books, as an editor/publisher. During her seven years at South End Press, she helped acquire and publish books by many prominent writer/activists.

She also wrote for magazines such as Ms. Magazine, Sojourner and others, organized several Asian women’s groups — and, in 1997, released her edited collection “Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire.”

In 2000, Shah turned to writing full-time, publishing articles on corporate power and developing countries for The Nation, The Progressive, Knight-Ridder and elsewhere. In 2002, she and her family moved to north Queensland, Australia, where she subsequently wrote a book about the politics, history and science behind oil.

“Crude: The Story of Oil” (Seven Stories) was released in the fall of 2004. The book was later published in Australia, Japan, Greece, Italy and elsewhere.

Shah continues to write for magazines, including Orion, Salon, Playboy and others — and speaks publicly via Speakout! Speakers Bureau. Her latest book “The Body Hunters” (New Press) stems from a widely-read article she published in The Nation.

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