There was a time not so long ago when Indian writers thought the only route to fame was to find a foreign publisher. But for the last few years, there’s been a reverse flow (well, a trickle, at least). Indian publishers who haunted international book fairs hoping to bag Indian rights to the next Great Indian Novel are now ending up selling rights. When Abraham Eraly first wrote his book on the Great Mughals, no UK publisher would touch it: his book was too fat for their taste. But having found an Indian publisher, Penguin India, Eraly managed a UK book deal (Weidenfield and Nicolson). There’s a price to pay, though: some of the London reviews have been quite scathing. Like the London Telegraph, which wrote: "Lucidity is not Eraly’s most notable quality and his approach to chronology is often idiosyncratic."
One Indian writer who’s famous in India even before his book has hit bookshops is Fareed Zakaria. And instead of hunting for an Indian publisher, he has them queuing up. Penguin India has got him and they’re now rushing The Future of Freedom manuscript to printers hoping it finds shelf space by next week.