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SHASHI THAROOR

 

Shashi 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, Kofi Annan. 
                               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.


EXCERPT

-Riot: A Novel

From Priscilla Hart's Scrapbook
July 16, 1989

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.

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"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
                                                                           Nobel Laureate

Praises 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 Literary Supplement

[A] fascinating pot-pourri of contemporary Indian lore...well-written and intelligent...'- The Sunday Times

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

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