radhika jha
Radhika Jha

RADHIKA JHA is from India (born Delhi 1970), studied anthropology at Amherst College, did her Masters in Political Science at the University of Chicago and has lived in Paris as an exchange student. She writes and performs Odissi dancing. She has worked for Hindustan Times and BusinessWorld, writing on culture, the environment and the economy. She has also worked for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, where she started up the Interact project for the education of the children of the victims of terrorism in different parts of India. She now lives in Tokyo with her husband and 2 children. The story SLEEPERS from THE ELEPHANT & THE MARUTI has appeared in Ellery Queen Magazine and Radhika has contributed other stories to anthologies and publications, for example Akashic Books' Delhi Noir series.

'Perhaps no Indian since Ruskin Bond has used the English language so beautifully.' The Statesman

My Beautiful shadow
My Beautiful Shadow

Radhika Jha’s novel is set in Japan and delves into its darkest heart but her themes are thoroughly universal. The female narrator belongs to a club, one that millions of women belong to. It involves beautiful clothes and accessories and is the most important thing in their lives. For Kayo it is an obsession, one that threatens to destroy her life as a good wife, mother and suburban housewife. Reunited with her beautiful childhood friend, whose life appears so glamorous, Kayo wants to become her, she is pulled ever deeper into a dark underworld of lies, debt, prostitution, even death. A powerfully atmospheric account of one woman losing her way and a mesmerising tale of consumerism gone mad.

Sales

HarperCollins India

Editions Philippe Picquier France

Sellerio Editore Italy

AST Russia

Material: manuscript.

lanterns on their horns
Lanterns On Their Horns UK Cover

Manoj Mishra gives up his PhD and moves with his wife to be part of KIRD - an institute that perfects artificial insemination, fertilising the Indian cow with European sperm so she produces more milk to end poverty in the villages. In Nandpur, a village that has consciously decided to turn it's back on modernity, Ramu the village charity case sneaks off and marries a beautiful educated girl, Laxmi. A few weeks later he finds an abandoned cow in the forest and adopts it. The two unlikely couples meet when Manoj inseminates Ramu's no-good cow with European bull sperm and they all rush headlong towards a confrontation in which what is at stake is not a cow or a human, but the identity of Nandpur, and of India, itself.

 

The vividly drawn cast of characters, the intimate social intercourse described with playful humour, the underlying seriousness of the themes - the juggling of the old and the new, the whole process of modernisation - gives echoes of Naguib Mahfouz and a connection to the literary tradition of Dickens. Radhika Jha is the kind of novelist who can deliver on several different levels at once, while always maintaining the lightest of touches.

 

‘Radhika Jha's second novel is about transformations in the heart and body of India - a highly affecting and finely crafted story. Lanterns is a seductive novel about the potential change beckoning hundreds of millions of Indians: a witness to India's complex interiors, and the revolutionary "churn" underway. This wonderfully warm and properly grounded novel is a great place to become familiar with it.’ Independent

 

'A marvellous book. Great novels succeed in telling the truth in ways that the most detailed textbooks can never hope to achieve, and Lanterns on their Horns does just this. Radhika Jha deals with that most serious of subjects, how to introduce modern methods to backward rural communities, with a sensitivity, a playfulness and an empathy which forces the reader to understand what is at stake. The village of Old Nandgaon will live on in the reader’s heart long after progress has swept its real life counterparts into the dustbin of history. Through the passions, the struggles, the ambitions and the tragedies of the inhabitants of Nandgaon, the reader begins to understand something about what is lost as well as gained when a poor rural village is dragged into the twenty-first century. Lanterns on their Horns will change the way you think about the world’s poorest billion.' Michael Ridpath

 

‘The village is untouched by the glitz and clamour of modern living. Its sense of duty, as also its sense of beauty, inherited from age-old beliefs…The circle of life completes itself here among the idyllic huts whose walls are decorated with beautiful paintings that hark back to the days of Krishna and his cowherd friends… No one goes hungry in Nandgaon; life is both good and godly. What could possibly penetrate this carefully protected cocoon of innocence? only artificial means can pierce this fictional village in Radhika Jha's novel’ The Hindu

Sales

HarperCollins India

 

Editions Philippe Picquier France

 

Neri Pozza Italy

 

Beautiful Books UK (rights reverted)

 

House of Books NL

 

Material: finished copies (442pp).

 

 

THE ELEPHANT AND THE MARUTI
The Elephant And The Maruti

From Shibu Mondal, the physically challenged beggar with a dark past, to Sushila, the child-wife who weaves colourful dreams from a pile of garbage and hopes for a bright future unlike hers for her yet to be conceived child, the author takes the reader through a maze of emotions. A freak episode involving an elephant and a Maruti car affects someone totally unrelated. The slow build-up to communal violence where living, thinking people become nameless, mindless mobs; the story of the young girl fascinated by the idea of beauty provides a heady concoction with glimpses into many worlds. The author uses language brilliantly, keeping it simple and to the point. The narrative is taut and crisp, but there is always an undercurrent of passion in her stories - a passion for life, for the city of Delhi, and for the common man who rises above all odds and comes up trumps.

 

This collection enhances Radhika Jha's reputation as a writer of sensory and philosophical power.

Sales

Penguin India

 

Arena Holland

 

Neri Pozza Italy

 

Editions Philippe Picquier France

 

Dom Quixote Portugal

 

Defne Yayinevi Turkey

 

Material: finished copies (243pp).

smell
Smell

After the death of her father Leela’s family is forced to leave Kenya. Struggling to survive, on the streets of an alien city, she discovers an unusual quality in herself - her extraordinary sensitivity to smell. A seemingly innocuous and occasionally useful attribute, it gradually begins to colour her every emotion and response.

 

Soon, the dark feral stench of her own body threatens to overpower her, and Leela fears that she may have lost all control over her own life.

 

‘Radhika Jha’s story is hard to let go: she writes this orphan’s tale with effortless immediacy, like Leela improvising one of her pungent, seductive feasts.’ LA Times Book Review

 

‘Richly described and erotically charged.’ Washington Post

‘Outstanding. A novel to rival Patrick Suskind’s Perfume.’ Punch

 

‘Her writing is generous, unbridled, sensual. In her company, one begins to rediscover Paris, its beauty, its mirages, its traps, with a roving eye.’ Le Figaro


Sales

Penguin India (original publisher)

 

Philippe Picquier France

 

Neri Pozza Italy

 

Arena Holland

 

Soho Press USA

 

Quartet UK

 

Blanvalet/Bertelsmann Germany

 

Natur och Kultur Sweden

 

Dom Quixote Portugal

 

Diigisi Greece

 

Fuso Japan

 

Ediciones el Cobre Spanish

 

Alfa Narodna Knjiga Serbia

 

Leaders Korea

 

Editura Leda Romania

 

Janet 45 Bulgaria

 

Material: finished copies (307pp).