A key metric used in evaluating a university is what its students go on to do once they graduate, and when it comes to literature, Cornell is known as being among the best in the world. Among Cornell’s alumni are many accomplished writers, with big names like Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, and Kurt Vonnegut still echoing through the libraries that they once roamed during their time at Cornell. With such a strong literary tradition, it’s no wonder that so many great writers flock to Cornell to hone their craft.
Avirook Upmanyu (’19) wants nothing more than to be a part of this tradition. Originally from India, Avirook spent his childhood living in nine countries before he came to Cornell to pursue a degree in Applied Economics and Management. Combining his passions for writing and business, Avirook channeled his international experiences to write Till Death Do Us Apart, a romantic espionage thriller based in Turkey. The book has earned Avirook international praise, particularly because he was so young when it was published in 2014. Citing his readers’ satisfaction as his primary reward, Avirook has learned a lot about the creative process and what it means to be an author:
Publishing the book has also taught Avirook a lot about entrepreneurship. Avirook identifies himself as an entrepreneur, as he has had to market his book and develop his brand image as an author just as a “typical” entrepreneur would need to do for his or her own product. Appropriately, Avirook also has a lot of valuable advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs: