About Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is one of India’s best known and most loved authors. A prominent writer,  festival director, and literary activist,  she is the author of twenty three works of fiction and non-fiction. Her pioneering work has earned her great acclaim over the last few decades.

The cult classic Paro: Dreams of Passion, first published in 1984, is a satire on the elite of Bombay and Delhi which created a furore due to its frank sexual humour. It has remained in print and been read and appreciated by successive generations over the last four decades. The new double edition Double Bill: Priya and Paro brings together Paro and Priya: Take Two in one classic volume.

Gokhale later battled illness and personal loss to write memorable works including the Himalayan trilogy, which began with The Book of Shadows, includes A Himalayan Love Story, and continues with Things to Leave Behind, which brings to life the mixed legacy of the British Indian past and chronicles Nainital’s reluctant entry into modern India.

Things to Leave Behind  was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for 2021 . It also won the Best Fiction(English) Jury Award at the Valley of Words International Literature Festival 2017, the Sushila Devi Literary Award 2018 and was on the long list for the 2018 Dublin Literary Award.

Gokhale has also worked extensively with Indian myth through The Book of Shiva, an introduction to Shaivite philosophy. The Puffin Mahabharata is an illustrated retelling of the Indian epic for young readers. Lost in Time: Ghatotkacha and the Game of Illusions, also for young readers, examines a rare friendship, as well as the abiding puzzles of the past.

The Goddess Trilogy includes the pathbreaking anthologies  In Search of Sita – Revisiting Mythology, Finding Radha , The Quest for Love, and The Treasures of Lakshmi – The Goddess Who Gives (co-edited with Dr. Malashri Lal. )

Gokhale’s recent fiction includes the evocative Jaipur Journals , set against the backdrop of the vibrant Jaipur Literature Festival, and The Blind Matriarch which follows an extended Indian joint family through the travails of the pandemic.

Gokhale has a passionate commitment to showcasing Indian writing . She is co-founder and co-director of the internationally renowned Jaipur Literature Festival and also helps curate its diverse international editions. She has conceived and curated Kitaabnama, India’s only multilingual book show for the national broadcaster Doordarshan. She has twice chaired the Dylan Thomas Prize.  She is passionately committed to cross cultural dialogue and to showcasing writing across the spectrum of South Asian languages.

Namita Gokhale was conferred the Centenary National Award for Literature by the Asam Sahitya Sabha in Guwahati in 2017 “for her literary contributions as well as her service to the nation in supporting and showcasing literary talents and creating a literary environment in the country”.

A glimpse into Gokhale’s literary journey…

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