Penguin to host Ramachandra Guha, Nandan Nilekani, Amartya Sen and Vikram Seth in celebration of Indian writing

London, 7th April 2009: Penguin, the international publishing company, is delighted to announce that it will bring together four of India's great minds for an evening to celebrate Indian writing. Ramachandra Guha, Nandan Nilekani, Amartya Sen and Vikram Seth, all Penguin authors, will participate in the event, entitled The Many Avatars of the Indian Creative Mind. The evening will be facilitated by David Davidar, a novelist as well as founder of Penguin India and now CEO and publisher of Penguin Canada. The event will be held at the Royal Society of Arts on Monday 20th April.

Ramachandra Guha is one of India's finest historians and author of the celebrated India after Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. He is also a newspaper columnist, environmentalist and cricket writer. He was named one of the hundred most influential intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines last year. Penguin has just reached a landmark agreement with Ram Guha to publish seven books, including a definitive two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi set to be the most comprehensive and important biography of Gandhi to date.

Nandan Nilekani is founder and chairman of Infosys and author of Imagining India (to be published in the UK on 30th April). He was named one of the hundred most influential people in the world by Time magazine and Forbes Businessman of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Amartya Sen is a world-renowned economist and philosopher and winner of the Nobel Prize for economics. He is currently the Lamont University Professor at Harvard University. His book The Argumentative Indian ranks amongst Penguin India's highest selling titles. His new book Idea of Justice will be published in July. Vikram Seth is a world-famous novelist as well as a poet, travel writer, biographer and memoirist. He has written critically-acclaimed books in almost every genre: verse novel (The Golden Gate), travel book (From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet), and epic masterpiece (A Suitable Boy). Time magazine named him 'the best writer of his generation'.

David Davidar, Publisher and CEO of Penguin Canada, who will be moderating the event, said: "Over the past twenty-five years Indian writers have left an indelible mark on the international scene. Through fiction, verse, drama and non-fiction they are creating a body of work of unparalleled originality and brilliance that will endure for generations to come."

The event will take place during the week of the London Book Fair at which India is the market focus. Penguin India, founded in 1987, is today Asia's largest English-language trade publisher and home to most of India's bestselling authors. Penguin India's authors have won virtually every major literary prize including: the Nobel Prize, Magsaysay Award, Jnanpith Award, Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Penguin Group Chairman and Chief Executive, John Makinson, commented: "Each of the writers on this platform is immensely distinguished in his own right. Collectively they capture the impressive range and depth of Penguin's Indian publishing. For 22 years we have been bringing the country's extravagant literary and intellectual talent to the attention of a worldwide audience. It is an achievement of which we're proud and something that we shall be delighted to celebrate, in the company of our authors, on April 20th."

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For further information/ press tickets to the event:

Rebecca Sinclair
Tel: +44 207 010 4279

If you are interested in media interviews with Nandan Nilekani (who is in London to promote the UK publication of his book Imagining India) please contact:

Penelope Vogler
Tel: +44 207 010 3253