25 January, 2021

A Buzz Over Benares

Is Pankaj Mishra going to be the next Arundhati Roy?

A Buzz Over Benares
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
SUDDENLY, Shimla-based author, Pankaj Mishra finds himself at the edge. Reluctant, strangely vertiginous - not with fear of the ground dropping away beneath him, but at the prospect of flight. Drafts of Mishra's first novel, The Romantic, have sparked off a 'bidding war' in England as prestigious publishing houses like Picador and Fourth Estate make their offers - in more than six figures - for its British publishing rights. Just the German rights for the book have been bought by Karl Blessing Verlag for a stupendous $100,000, or Rs 42 lakh. And in New York, Jason Epstein, legendary doyen of American publishing, has already bought American rights for Random House at an undisclosed figure.

The deja vu is inescapable. Two years ago, it was around this time that Arundhati Roy shot into the public eye, a frisson of awe rippling in her wake as the British rights for her first novel The God of Small Things sold for £150,000, or over Rs 1 crore. With the deluge that followed - the media attention, the huge advances, the unprecedented sales worldwide -...

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