Indian American writer Siddhartha Mukherjee has been nominated for an Emmy Award for his PBS documentary, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.
The six hour programme based on Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name was executive produced by Ken Burns and directed by Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and writer Barak Goodman. It is among five nominees for the award for documentary or nonfiction series.
Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is the author of The Laws of Medicine and The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New Republic. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.
Penguin Random House India has announced that Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others has won the Encore Award for the Best Second Novel in the UK.
Alex Clark, Chair of the Encore Judges said: ‘We were immensely impressed by the ambition and depth of Neel Mukherjee’s second novel, in which a suburban house in 1960s Calcutta comes to reflect the political and social convulsions of an entire society. Ranging from the mass hunger of the Second World War to independence and the emergence of the Maoist Naxalbari movement, Mukherjee chronicles these extraordinary years in Indian history through the piercingly observed story of one family. As we read further into the story of the Ghoshes – their lives thrown into crisis by an absconding activist son – we became increasingly convinced of the book’s immense qualities and its ability to inform and provoke at the same time as it entertains. We are excited to see what Mukherjee will produce next, and hope very much that the Encore Award will encourage him in his writing life.’.
On being presented with his Award, Neel Mukherjee said: ‘The Encore Award is the coolest and the most original literary prize in town. It is a burst of light in what is usually considered to be dark, damp, bleak territory — the dreaded second novel. I’m thrilled by my good fortune and, looking at the list of past winners, both humbled and deeply honoured.’
Bangalore-based Rheea Mukherjee has joined Kitaab as Blogs Editor.
Rheea Mukherjee received her MFA in creative writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her work has been published in in Ultra Violet, Southern Humanities Review, CHA : An Asian Literary Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Bombay Literary Magazine, A Gathering of Tribes, Everyday Fiction, Bengal Lights and Out Of Print Magazine. Her unpublished collection of stories, In These Cities WeDreamed, was a Semi-Finalist in the Black Lawrence Press, St Lawrence Book Award, 2011. In 2012 she co-founded Bangalore Writers Workshop, and currently co-runs Write Leela Write, a design and content laboratory in Bangalore.
“It is an exciting start,” said Mukherjee. “I am looking forward to generate debate and discussion through blogs on Kitaab.”
A tall man, Mukherjee, 57, talks in a slow, deliberate baritone. “I took to Japanese when I was in my 30s, I was already a lecturer at the engineering department here. I had an aptitude for languages, and soon I won a scholarship to visit Japan in 1997. A year later, I was offered the chance to teach at Kanazawa University in Ishikawa Prefecture,” says Mukherjee. During his year-long tenure there, he fell in love with Japanese culture. “They pursue aesthetics as a discipline. I find that fascinating,” says Mukherjee, who has been approved by Murakami to translate the novel. Read more
Walking into the prize ceremony for the Man Booker Prize in the knowledge that you could win one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world should be the crowning moment in the career of any novelist writing in English.
But ask Neel Mukherjee whether he’s looking forward to his book, The Lives of Others, battling with works from the feted American author Joshua Ferris or the venerable past winner Howard Jacobson on Tuesday, and the response is close to total bafflement.
“What kind of question is that anyway?” he counters. “Of course I’m not. It’s going to be completely stressful.” Read more
Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of the Others has been shortlisted for The 2014 Booker Prize.
Mukherjee’s epic Kolkata-set family saga has drawn widespread praise since its publication, including Anita Desai declaring it to be ‘ferocious, unsparing and brutally honest’ and Amitav Ghosh finding it ‘searing, savage and deeply moving’.
‘I am thrilled that Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others has found a much-deserved place on this prestigious shortlist. It’s also a great honour for Vintage India to have an author on the Man Booker shortlist for the second year in a row,” said Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, Penguin Random House. ‘I feel very lucky to have published this exceptional novel.’
Neel Mukherjee says: “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014. It is a great and singular honour to be amongst the other authors on the list.”
Mukherjee is joined on the shortlist by 4 fellow Penguin Random House authors: Howard Jacobson for J, Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Ali Smith for How To Be Both and Joshua Ferris’ To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.
Neel Mukherjee has delivered on the promise of his first novel. His second, The Lives of Others, currently long listed for the Booker Prize, is a tour de force, says Oindrila Mukherjee.
The novel opens in a village in Bengal in May 1966 with the impoverished Nitai Das walking back to his hut from the landlord’s house where he begged all morning for a cup of rice. Unable to procure food or work and mired in debt, Nitai is driven to kill his wife and children before committing suicide. We then switch to the following year at 22/6 Basanta Bose Road, a four-storied house in Calcutta, where the Ghosh family resides.
The Ghoshes exhibit many characteristic features of affluent Bengali joint families in the sixties. Prafullanath, the ageing patriarch who built the family business, Charu Paper & Sons (Pvt. Ltd.) lives in the house with his three sons, Adinath, Priyo, and Bholanath, their respective families, the widow and children of his youngest son, and a retinue of servants including the old and trusted Madan. All the brothers are involved in the family business. The widow, Purba, and her children, are treated with contempt by most of the others and live in squalid conditions in their dark and dingy room downstairs. But the rest of them, for the most part, enjoy considerable material comfort and of course a reputation for being an established, “bonedi” family. Read more
In this novel of political activisim in 1960s Calcutta, Mukherjee’s writing has fluent precision and a fine ear for the chaos of family life: New Statesman
Neel Mukherjee’s first novel, the prize-winning A Life Apart, had as its protagonist a young man, Ritwik Ghosh, who left the clamour of his extended family in Calcutta for a life of hazardous solitude. Mukherjee’s second novel plunges the reader directly into the maelstrom of Bengali family life that Ritwik fled. The protagonist of The Lives of Others is not an individual but the many-headed hydra of the (unrelated) Ghosh clan. Once wealthy, the family is now in decline but it remains prosperous enough to occupy a large house in Bhowanipore, a genteel neighbourhood of Calcutta, where the days are spent in tireless spiteful intrigue.