Indu Sundaresan

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Indu Sundaresan

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India
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September 2011


Indu Sundaresan was born in India and grew up on Air Force bases all over the country. Her father, a fighter pilot, was also a storyteller—managing to keep his audiences captive and rapt with his flair for drama and timing. He got this from his father, Indu's grandfather, whose visits were always eagerly awaited. Indu's love of stories comes from both of them, from hearing their stories based on imagination and rich Hindu mythology, and from her father's writings.

After an undergraduate degree in economics from India, Indu came to the U.S. for graduate school at the University of Delaware. But all too soon, the storytelling gene beckoned.


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Indu Sundaresan There's a bit of a long answer for this, Akshay! I read about Mehrunnisa, Empress Nur Jahan during graduate school here in the US. I was homesick one…moreThere's a bit of a long answer for this, Akshay! I read about Mehrunnisa, Empress Nur Jahan during graduate school here in the US. I was homesick one day, went to the library and checked out books on India. One of them was on Mughal harems and Mehrunnisa.

After I graduated (with degrees in economics and operations research) I decided to write a novel. I wrote two (unpublished) novels before I turned my attention to Mehrunnisa and wrote both THE TWENTIETH WIFE and THE FEAST OF ROSES in one sitting. (They went through countless revisions after that first draft, of course.) That was novel 1 and novel 2 of the trilogy.

I knew even then I would write the third novel, SHADOW PRINCESS, because as I researched the first two, Shah Jahan's daughters, Jahanara and Roshanara, came to life, especially their rivalry with each other and their supporting of different brothers as the next Mughal emperor.

But, I let some 7 years pass before SHADOW PRINCESS was published--in the interim I wrote THE SPLENDOR OF SILENCE and IN THE CONVENT OF LITTLE FLOWERS. I needed that time away from the Mughal world, because I'd spent too much time in the Mughal world in writing the first two novels of the trilogy--so when I wrote the third, SHADOW PRINCESS, I came back anew to Mughal India.

As I said, long answer :-)(less)
Indu Sundaresan Thank you, Supreya. I've been asked about writing about the other Mughal kings, especially Aurangazeb, and I did expand Ruqqaya's character quite a…moreThank you, Supreya. I've been asked about writing about the other Mughal kings, especially Aurangazeb, and I did expand Ruqqaya's character quite a bit in THE TWENTIETH WIFE, but never been asked about Akbar's mother, Hamida Banu. Definitely something to think about--writing a prequel to THE TWENTIETH WIFE!(less)
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Güller Şöleni

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Yirminci Eş

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The Taj triology Box Set

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More books by Indu Sundaresan…
Siyaasat the tv adaptation of The Twentieth Wife is launching on a new history channel in India called Epic.

Launch date for the channel and Siyaasat is Thursday, November 19, 2014 at 9pm. From then on, the series will air every Thursday night at 9pm.

Here's a trailer:

http://youtu.be/QVXDxslV1Po

If you're in India and see the series, please do tell me what you think of it! Read more of this blog post »
4 likes ·   •  10 comments  •  flag
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Published on November 10, 2014 14:00 • 1,019 views • Tags: literature, television
The Twentieth Wife The Feast of Roses Shadow Princess
(3 books)
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4.01 avg rating — 18,900 ratings

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
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I own a $1.95 paperback edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, much read through. The cover is something of a marvel. In the background rises the black Halloweenesque silhouette of a mansion with yellow painted windows framed by an en ...more
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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Burial Rites
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The back flap of Burial Rites will tell you that this is a novel about Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be publicly beheaded in Iceland, and that while awaiting her sentence, Agnes is sent to live on a farm, and be part of the lives of the farm ...more
" Jenn wrote: "I also would LOVE to watch this series (with subtitles). Maybe they'll put it on a station we get, online or on dvd."

I'm not sure what ex
...more "
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My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
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There’s a class I teach now and again titled Finding Your Voice, where I try to pin down this nebulous aspect called the ‘voice’ in a piece of writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. When I prepare, anew, for the class, I usually cast around for two ...more
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Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
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Braddon was a prolific author of some eighty books, but the one she’s best known for is Lady Audley’s Secret .

As novels go, this one has the usual cast of characters. A rich, older nobleman, Sir Michael Audley, who’s never been in love before but is
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Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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Henry VIII is best known for his break from the Roman Catholic Church and his six wives; the latter leading to a Lizzie Bordenesque ditty of his own—died, beheaded, died; died, beheaded, alive.

Behind the king was a mastermind, Thomas Cromwell, who re
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More of Indu's books…
“But Mehrunnisa did not know then, would never know, by giving her blessings to this marriage she had set into progress a chain of events that would eventually erase her name from history's pages. Or that Arjumand would become the only Mughal woman posterity would easily recognize. Docile, seemingly tractable and troublesome Arjumand would eclipse even Mehrunnisa, cast her in a shadow...because of the monument Khurram would build in Arjumand's memory - the Taj Mahal.”
Indu Sundaresan, The Feast of Roses

“No, no, don’t touch your mother just before the baby is born. Now it will be a girl child, because you are one. Run along now. Take your evil eye with you.”

“Ghias, we must be careful not to teach the girls too much. How will they ever find husbands if they are too learned? The less they know, the less they will want of the outside world.”
Indu Sundaresan, The Twentieth Wife

“This great Mughal Emperor [Akbar] was illiterate; he could neither read nor write. However, that had not stopped Akbar from cultivating the acquaintance of the most learned and cultured poets, authors, musicians, and architects of the time - relying solely on his remarkable memory during conversations with them.”
Indu Sundaresan, The Twentieth Wife

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