Tharoor was born in 1956 in London and grew up in
Bombay and Kolkata. He got his Ph.D. degree in
the US. Since 178, he has worked for the United
Nations and is currently the Executive Assistant
to the Secretary General of the United Nations,
He is the author of The Great Indian Novel,
Show Business (1992) and a collection of
stories, The Five Dollar Smile (1991). He
even wrote a non fiction book From Midnight to
Millennium. His latest offering to the
literary world is a novel titled Riot.
He lives in New York.
Learned something interesting about the Hindu god Ram,
the one all fuss about these days. Seems that when he
brought his wife Sita back from Lanka and became king,
the gossips in the kingdom were whispering that after so
many months in Ravana's captivity, she could not possibly
be chaste anymore. So to stop the tongues wagging, he
subjected her to an agni-pariksha, a public ordeal
by fire, to prove her innocent. She walked through the
flames unscathed. A certified pure woman.
That stopped the gossips for a while, but before long the
old rumours surfaced again. It was beginning to affect
Ram's credibility as king. So he spoke to her about it.
What could she do? She willed the earth to open up,
literally, and swallowed her. That was the end of the
gossip. Ram lost the woman he had warred win back, but he
ruled on as a wise and beloved king.
What the hell does this say about India? Appearances are
more important than truths. Gossip is more potent than
facts. Loyalty is all one way, from the woman to the man.
And when society stacks up all the odds against a woman,
she'd better not count on the man's support. She has no
way out than to end her own life.
And I'm in love with an Indian. I must be crazy.
"Written with elegance and sensitivity,
RIOT is a remarkable tale about violence and hope
in a land that has known both; it confirms Shashi
Tharoor as a major voice in contemporary
literature." - Elie Wiesel
for The Great Indian Novel:
'Delicious irreverence...the insight into both current
politics and the epic are reward enough......A touch of
genius....' - India Today
A tour de force of considerable brilliance...The
Great Indian Novel never fails to hold our
attention...[A] vastly enjoyable book.'- Times
[A] fascinating pot-pourri of contemporary Indian
lore...well-written and intelligent...'- The Sunday
Shashi Tharoor' s brilliantly written book...merits to be
called a classic.'- The Hindu
"[A] sweeping novel of wit, wisdom and
integrity. The Great Indian Novel is a
masterpiece of Indian writing."
-The Sunday Observer, Bombay
"[A] real tour de force only an Indian
could write." -Financial Times, London
'The Great Indian Novel puts Tharoor...in the
ranks of contemporary Indian writers.'- Sunday