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(1943–), Indian author of German origin; illustrator and writer of picture books, short stories

adventure books, and family novels. Srivastav has based many of her stories on real-life incidents
from around the world, as in A Moment of Truth (1991). The focus is repeatedly on heroism: in the
personal sphere, in the private sphere, and in public spaces. In stories such as ―The Letter‖ and ―The
Accident‖ in Heroes Never Die (1992), Srivastav also examines the predicament of people who—out of
fear, shyness, or sheer laziness—fail to achieve heroic stature.

A social conscience distinguishes Srivastav's work: ecological problems, the plight of the differently
abled, and ethnic discrimination are portrayed in various stories. The poverty that prevails in India and
the immense difficulty of alleviating it is a theme that Srivastav returns to in such stories as ―Bad
Business‖ in No Time for Fear (1992), and ―An Insignificant Incident‖ and ―Sampatti‖
in Trapped (1995). She is among the few Indian writers who shows the reality and despair of
communal violence in stories like ―Trapped.‖ Though many of Srivastav's stories end happily, this
happiness is often purchased at a high price, and though solutions are found for most problems, these
solutions are not facile: they require some labor, pain, and sacrifice, as in ―Fight, Manju, Fight!‖ in The
Ghost Rider of Dharbanga (1989) and others. In Grin and Bear It, Abhy (1993) Srivastav introduces
many of these themes, interspersing them with some adventure, romance, and humor, all of it set
within a large and rambunctious joint family. Her style is distinguished by an abundance of racy
dialogue, some innovative slang, and lively conversations. Srivastav examines issues such as sibling
rivalry and sexism in picture books (What is Right? What is Wrong? 1986, and I am Better than You,
1992, among others), where the collage enhances the text's power.