24 July, 2021

Who Cloned Them Blue Mangoes?

Indian publishing’s brightest star faces a complex copyright-infringement charge

Jitender Gupta
Who Cloned Them Blue Mangoes?

The world of wordsmiths has often seen pitched battles over the ownership of works and ideas. Come August, the literary world is going to witness another such war, with a cast of characters as interesting as those in works of fiction. On one side is novelist-publisher David Davidar, currently the MD at Aleph Book Company, and variously described as the man who put recent Indian writing and publishing on the world map, the most successful Indian publisher and one who has discovered top Indian talent. On the other is Sivasundari Bose, a Tiruchirapalli-based novelist-poet, who charges Davidar with having plagiarised from her manuscript, submitted to Penguin when he headed that firm. Sivasundari sued Davidar, saying there are many similarities between her novel—submitted in manuscript to Penguin as I Hunt for the Golden Stag and eventually published by Mosaic Books as Golden Stag—and Davidar’s own acclaimed novel The House of Blue Mangoes.

Sivasundari says the plot of her...

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