Benares: Ancient Customs, Contemporary Politics
Aatish Taseer with Manu S Pillai
Aatish Taseer, is a British-born writer-journalist, and the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer. Taseer has written a highly acclaimed translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories from the original Urdu, Manto: Selected Stories. His first book Stranger to History : A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands (2009), part memoir-part travelogue, has been translated into more than 14 languages and hailed as a ‘must-read’ for anyone attempting to understand the Muslim world. The book caught the attention of Nobel Laureate Sir V. S. Naipaul, who labelled Taseer ‘a young writer to watch’. His first novel, The Temple-Goers (2010) was also very well received; it was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa First Novel Award. His most recent novel is “The Way Things Were”. He is a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times.
Manu S Pillai
Manu S Pillai is the author of the award-winning The Ivory Throne (2015), Rebel Sultans (2018), The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin (2019), and most recently, False Allies (2021). Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, he has in the past worked at the House of Lords in Britain, and with the BBC on their ‘Incarnations’ history series. A winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, he has been a columnist at Mint Lounge, while his other writings have appeared in The Hindu, Open Magazine, the Times of India, Hindustan Times, The New Statesman, and other publications. Manu is currently studying for a PhD at King’s College London.
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