Heralded as one of the "Discover Great New Writers" by Barnes & Noble, Ashok Rajamani is an internationally published author, poet, artist, essayist, radio host, speaker, and editor-in-chief/founder of Ashok Rajamani’s Survivor Factory Magazine.
He is also 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, THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY (Algonquin Books), an irreverent and decidedly unconventional memoir about a day that exploded not only his brain, but the world around him.
The memoir received blockbuster acclaim, hailed by multiple media outlets, including Publishers 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 host on Brain Injury Radio.
In addition to being a writer and artist, Ashok is a sought-after speaker, having conducted multiple reading engagements and talks in events and venues, including: United Nations International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy; “Masala in Words: A Night of South Asian American Writers,” New York City (headliner); Barnes & Noble, including New york City, Princeton NJ, and Holmdel, NJ; Words Bookstore, Maplewood NJ; 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.
Finally entering the digital age following his memoir, he decided to release his next works electronically: a Free flash audio production entitled IF THESE SARIS COULD TALK: A MONOLOGUE OF GOSSIP and a book/audiobook of literary criticism on Literature and Myth, 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. His art has been submitted and shown in galleries such as Greenpoint Gallery and Exit Art in New York City. Additionally, previous to the hemorrhage, Ashok worked as a senior-level publicist 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.