IN 2010, the global publishing industry was reeling under the wave of low sales, and bookstores all over the world were on the verge of shutting down, seemingly unable to combat the threat of the e-book. But in India, a first-time author’s modern retelling of the life and legend of Lord Shiva captivated the imagination of the masses. The book was The Immortals of Meluha, and its author, a 35-year-old who signed his work as Amish.
Recently named director of the Nehru Centre in London, Amish Tripathi will be the guest at the Express Adda Monday in New Delhi. The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
A graduate of IIM-Calcutta, Amish had worked for over a decade in the financial services industry before he decided to drop his surname, and set out to make a name as a writer.
After the thumping success of the first book, he brought out the next two installments of The Shiva Trilogy in quick succession — The Secret of the Nagas (2011), and The Oath of the Vayuputras (2013) — making it, arguably, the fastest-selling book series in the history of publishing in India.
His books were then published in UK’s competitive market; and translated into French, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Estonian, Indonesian and Czech.
Since then, and with each of his successive publications, Amish, 44, has explored Hindu mythology in highly popular fictional narratives.
In 2015, ‘Ram: Scion of Ikshvaku’, the first book of his five-part Ram Chandra series, was published; a prequel to the Shiva trilogy, it is a reimagining of the Ramayana. It won the 2016 Raymond Crossword Book Award. Two years later, he came out with ‘Sita: Warrior of Mithila’ — it was the highest-selling book of 2017.
This month, the third book in the series, ‘Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta’, will be released. Amish has also written one work of non-fiction — ‘Immortal India: Young Country, Timeless Civilisation’ (2017) — and is currently working on another, tentatively titled ‘Suheldev & The Battle Of Bahra’.
At the Express Adda, Amish will be in conversation with Seema Chishti, Deputy Editor, and, Paromita Chakrabarti, Associate Editor, The Indian Express.
Past guests at the event include the Dalai Lama, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, filmmaker Karan Johar, writer Amitav Ghosh, musician T M Krishna, ecologist Romulus Whitaker, and oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee.