Sudha Koul was born in Kashmir the year that India was partitioned. Hers was one of the few Hindu families living in the predominantly Muslim area, though as a child the two cultures lived harmoniously with their neighbours. Sudha was educated in an Irish nuns' school in the valley and eventually became the first Kashmiri woman in the Indian Administrative Service, working as a roving magistrate in remote Indian villages. She returned to Kashmir only to witness it gradually ripping itself apart through religious bigotry and political incompetence. Married with two daughters, she now lives in New York.