August 05, 2020
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How an author snapped up one of Penguin's brightest editors, why Maria Misra is creating an international buzz and more on Mihir Bose, recently savaged by Amitava Kumar...

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Editor's Choice
Penguin India prides itself on snapping up promising new authors. Now there's been a reversal of roles—an author has snapped up one of Penguin's brightest editors. Patrick French—whose books include Liberty or Death, a history of India's freedom struggle, and a biography of Francis Younghusband, The Last Great Imperial Adventurer—got married to Penguin's commissioning editor Meru Gokhale. French is now busy with his new book, a biography of Sir Vidia Naipaul, and his research on this book undoubtedly helped the romance along—Meru's mother, novelist Namita Gokhale, is a close friend of the Naipauls who often stay with her when they're in Delhi.


Oh Maria
The next Indian writer set to create an international buzz is Maria Misra. Her book on modern Indian history, Vishnu's Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion, will be out in July. Misra, a cousin of bestselling novelist Jaishree Misra (An Indian Affair), teaches modern Indian history at Oxford, writes regularly for the New Statesman, and has presented a TV series called The Indian Affair for Channel Four. But the media coverage for her new book will probably focus as much on her filmstar good looks as her erudition.


Untold Anecdotes
Mihir Bose, whose book on Bollywood was savaged in this magazine by Amitava Kumar, is a prolific author and a sports journalist. In the '80s he wrote a biography of the Aga Khan, the one who founded the sect. It had many sensational anecdotes. Alas, the sect threatened to sue for a fantastic sum and the book was hastily withdrawn by the British publishers.

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