Born and raised in India of American parents, Nathan Kumar Scott has been bridging cultures all of his life. He earned his B.A. from Oberlin College (majoring in “Symbol Systems and Culture Change”), and his M.A. from the University of Washington in South Asian performing arts. (He wrote his Masters’ thesis on Ritual Clowns in South Indian puppetry and theatre traditions).
In 1990, Nathan was awarded a Watson Fellowship to study puppetry and storytelling from master artists in South and Southeast Asia. It was during this year that he was introduced to the Indonesian trickster character “Kanchil”, the mouse deer, hero of his first three books. Several years later, he returned to India and Indonesia on a UNESCO “Artists Across Frontiers” Fellowship to continue his cross-cultural storytelling and performance art. His interest in tricksters and clowns culminated in a Fulbright Fellowship to India in 1995, studying the clown characters of Indian performing arts.
Continuing to be fascinated by trickster characters, Nathan had his first Kanchil tale published as a children’s book by Tara Publishing, followed soon thereafter by two other re-tellings of traditional Kanchil tales.
After completing his Masters degree, Nathan lived in Seattle, Washington where he was a theater director, designer, playwright, puppeteer and storyteller, (often performing his children’s tales for rapt audiences across the country). He has studied and traveled throughout South and Southeast Asia and his work has been performed across the United States as well as in Ecuador, Mexico, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In 2012, Nathan and his family spent a year living abroad and studying Spanish in the small mountain town
of Monteverde, Costa Rica. From here Nathan travelled regionally in Central America and to Colombia,
Ecuador and Peru, doing research for his next book, set in the Andes mountains of South America.
Nathan lives with his wife, an artist and performer, and two children in
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, where he is the Executive Director of
Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE), an international
educational non-profit sending youth all over the world to
become global citizens.
Illustrator: Jagdish Chitara
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