Saturday, September 11, 2010

Love of the land

A historical romance set in colonial Coorg wins its NRI author Sarita Mandanna lavish praise but, asks Rrishi Raote, has she acknowledged all her sources?

Sarita Mandanna’s Tiger Hills was born with a silver spoon in its mouth. Not only was it championed by David Davidar, until recently a big wheel at Penguin, it also won the attention of David Godwin, a top literary agent. UK rights were quickly picked up by Kirsty Dunseath of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, who compared Tiger Hills with Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds and Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. (Early reviewers said its heroine Devi recalled Gone with the Wind’s immortal Scarlett O’Hara.) And in April 2009 Penguin paid a huge sum to acquire India rights to this debut novel. Trade rumour says the sum was around Rs 35 lakh.

What’s more, Mandanna is a young Manhattanite who works in private equity. She comes from a landed family with thousand-year-old roots in Coorg (now Kodagu). The chief characters in her novel are also privileged, from aristocratic families with coffee estates and paddy acres — all of which boosts the story’s “lushness”.

Full report here Business Standard

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