‘War of Lanka’, the fourth book in the Ram Chandra Series by well-known Indian author and diplomat Amish Tripathi, has become the first to be launched in the UK to not only connect with its significant diaspora but also to break into a broader readership.
After his reimagining of the ancient Indian epic ‘Ramayana’ with ‘Ram’, ‘Sita’ and ‘Raavan’, the latest book in his series steeped in Hindu philosophy has already been making waves in India. It has become the second fastest selling book series, behind Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy, and has now been offered up by HarperCollins UK for a wider western audience.
Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins UK CEO, said: “We are really excited to be publishing in the UK because we believe there is a real opportunity here for his writing, to not only reach the substantial Indian community in the UK but also to break into the broader book market.
“His books are wonderful tales but also chart the history and the beliefs that make up one of the greatest countries on earth. A country that is much loved by people in the UK and also in which there is an enormous fascination.
Redmayne was the Guest of Honour at a special book launch event last week organised by the Taj Hotel as part of its Rendezvous series hosted by Mehrnavaz Avari, during which Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami introduced the author and Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor explored the inspirations behind his writings in conversation with him.
Tripathi, India’s Minister – Culture and Director of the Nehru Centre in London, expressed confidence that the openness in the UK for eastern philosophies would mean that books such as ‘War of Lanka’ could add to contemporary conversations.
Tripathi said: “I think there are things that India can add to the conversation in the UK. In Indian philosophies, we can be traditional and liberal at the same time. We don’t have to choose between one or the other.
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“One thing that strikes me is that there is a lot of space for liberalism in the UK, but traditions have been forgotten. And, when you forget traditions, you lose a sense of community and family, and you have a lot of loneliness. Indian culture can offer that fine balance, that you can be traditional and liberal at the same time.”
Sonam Kapoor, the award-winning actor behind several Bollywood box-office hits, asked about the portrayal of women as strong characters in his works.
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The author said: “I think an author has to be in tune with the mood of the times… our ancient texts show women very respectfully, and men and women were treated as equal in ancient India. It changed in medieval India, one can debate the reasons behind that.
“But I think the time has come to go back to those ancient versions. It’s not being westernised in showing women in respectful and powerful roles. I’m only being true to our ancient texts.”
*Info: War of Lanka