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Author of 18 works of fiction and non-fiction, Namita Gokhale's upcoming novel, "Jaipur Journals", is set against the backdrop of the vibrant and multilingual Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). The metafictional novel is an ode to literature and will be published by Penguin Random House India under its prestigious Viking imprint.
"Jaipur Journals" will be launched at the very stage it is set on in January 2020.
William Dalrymple, author and festival co-director, and Sanjoy Roy, Managing Editor of Teamwork Arts, released the cover of Gokhale's book at two special curtain-raisers in Delhi and Mumbai earlier this week.
"It was wonderful to have a cover preview of my new novel at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai. This was followed by short readings from the book and a deep conversation around writers, the writing process and the magical Jaipur Literature Festival with Sanjoy Roy," she said.
"Jaipur Journals" is a moving novel that searches the inspirations and heartbreaks of that loneliest of tribes - the writers. Like the literature festival that put Jaipur on the map of literature globally, Gokhale's book is a mixed bag of tales.
It features a colourful cast of characters - the icon of queer literature who receives a malevolent anonymous letter, the burglar with a passion for poetry, the child prodigy who is determined to make it to the top, the American writer looking for the vanished India of her youth, the lonely writer in her 70s who carries her unpublished novel in a canvas bag wherever she goes.
Unputdownable from its very first page, this funny, pacey, sure-footed romp across the landscape of the literary world showcases in full form Gokhale's unsparing eye for detail and warm-hearted love for books.
Namita Gokhale's acclaimed debut novel, "Paro: Dreams of Passion", published in 1984, has remained a cult classic and has been issued in a double edition with its sequel, "Priya".
Gokhale has worked extensively across genres on Indian mythology, including her retelling of the Indian epic in "The Puffin Mahabharata", and her novel for young readers, "Lost in Time: Ghatotkacha and the Game of Illusions". The concluding novel of her Himalayan trilogy, "Things to Leave Behind", has won several awards and received enormous critical acclaim.
Gokhale was the first recipient of the Centenary National Award for Literature, given by the Asam Sahitya Sabha. She is also founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival. She is also a director of Yatra Books, a publishing house specialising in translations.