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About Indu Sundaresan
Indu Sundaresan was born and brought up in India, on Air Force bases around the country. Her father, a fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force, was also an avid storyteller--as was his father, Indu's grandfather. She grew up on their stories on various themes--Hindu mythology and fictional tales of an elephant and a horse living in the wilderness.
She came to the U.S. for graduate school at the University of Delaware and has two degrees; an M.S. in operations research and an M.A. in economics. But, the storytelling gene beckoned and she began writing soon after graduate school.
The Twentieth Wife (2002), based on the life of Mehrunnisa, Empress Nur Jahan, is the tale of one of India's most powerful women. This was her first published novel, but the third one she wrote--the first two still languish on the hard drive of some forgotten old computer and are never to be revived; they were practice runs and taught her how to write a novel.
She is the author of five books so far. The Twentieth Wife (2002); The Feast of Roses (2003); The Splendor of Silence (2006); In the Convent of Little Flowers (2008) and Shadow Princess (2010).
All of Indu's work has been published, in hardcover and paperback, in the U.S. by Pocket Books/Atria Books/Washington Square Press--imprints of Simon & Schuster. Her work has been translated into 17 languages to date.
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She came into the world in the year 1577, to the howling accompaniment of a ferocious winter storm. As the daughter of starving refugees fleeing violent persecution in Persia, her fateful birth in a roadside tent sparked a miraculous reversal of family fortune, culminating in her father's introduction to the court of Emperor Akbar. She is called Mehrunnisa, the Sun of Women. This is her story.
Growing up on the fringes of Emperor Akbar's opulent palace grounds, Mehrunnisa blossoms into a sapphire-eyed child blessed with a precocious intelligence, luminous beauty, and a powerful ambition far surpassing the bounds of her family's station. Mehrunnisa first encounters young Prince Salim on his wedding day. In that instant, even as a royal gala swirls around her in celebration of the future emperor's first marriage, Mehrunnisa foresees the path of her own destiny. One day, she decides with uncompromising surety, she too will become Salim's wife. She is all of eight years old -- and wholly unaware of the great price she and her family will pay for this dream.
Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensuous imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps readers up in the emotional pageant of Salim and Mehrunnisa's embattled love. First-time novelist Indu Sundaresan charts her heroine's enthralling journey across the years, from an ill-fated first marriage through motherhood and into a dangerous maze of power struggles and political machinations. Through it all, Mehrunnisa and Salim long with fiery intensity for the true, redemptive love they've never known -- and their mutual quest ultimately takes them, and the vast empire that hangs in the balance, to places they never dreamed possible.
Shot through with wonder and suspense, The Twentieth Wife is at once a fascinating portrait of one woman's convention-defying life behind the veil and a transporting saga of the astonishing potency of love.
Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence. The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more when they discover a plot to sell the Hotel. Can Alexis save their home? Find her real father? Deal with her surrogate dad’s dicey past? Find true love? Perhaps only their feisty pet crow, Habib, truly knows. Provoking interesting questions about the creative process, this novel is by turns funny, scary, witty, suspenseful, beautiful, thrilling, and unexpected.
Mehrunnisa, better known as Empress Nur Jahan, comes into Jahangir's harem as his twentieth and last wife. Almost from the beginning of her royal life she fits none of the established norms of womanhood in seventeenth-century India.
Mehrunnisa is the first woman Jahangir marries for love, at the "old" age of thirty-four. He loves her so deeply that he eventually transfers his powers of sovereignty to her.
Power and wealth do not come easily to Mehrunnisa -- she has to fight for them. She has a formidable rival in the imperial harem, Empress Jagat Gosini, who has schemed and plotted against Mehrunnisa from early on. Mehrunnisa's problems do not just lie within the harem walls, but at court, too, as she battles powerful ministers for supremacy. These ministers, who have long had Emperor Jahangir's confidence and trust, consider Mehrunnisa a mere woman who cannot have a voice in the outside world.
Mehrunnisa combats all of this by forming a junta of sorts with three men she can rely on -- her father, her brother, and Jahangir's son Prince Khurram. She demonstrates great strength of character and cunning to get what she wants, sometimes at a cost of personal sorrow when she almost loses her daughter's love. But she never loses the love of the man who bestows this power upon her -- Emperor Jahangir. The Feast of Roses is a tale of this power and love, the story of power behind a veil.
Trapped in the shadow of the magnificent tomb their grief-stricken father is building for his beloved deceased wife, the emperor’s daughters compete for everything: control over the imperial harem, their father’s affection, and the future of their country. They are forbidden to marry and instead choose to back different brothers in the fight for ultimate power over the throne. But only one of the sisters will succeed. With an enthusiasm for history and a flair for rich detail, Indu Sundaresan brings readers deep into the complicated lives of Indian women of the time period and highlights the profound history of one of the most celebrated works of architecture in the world, the Taj Mahal.
As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the “Mountain of Light”—the Kohinoor diamond—and its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest, and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England—a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown.
The Mountain of Light is a magnificent story of loss and recovery, sweeping change and enduring truth, wrapped around the glowing heart of one of the world’s most famous diamonds.
Like Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Indu Sundaresan’s In the Convent of Little Flowers gives readers an eloquent and illuminating collection of stories about contemporary Indian life, exploring the cutting-edge issues that surround the clash between ancient tradition and modernity. In the collection’s title story, a young woman adopted by an American family in Seattle receives a letter from Sister Mary Theresa, a nun at the Convent of Little Flowers in Chennai, where she stayed as a child. Unbeknownst to the Indian woman, the nun is her biological mother’s sister. In another story, the grandmother of an Indian journalist begs her grandson to intervene and stop a young widow from being burned alive. And when a teenaged daughter bears a child out of wedlock, her entire family is thrown into turmoil. With their lush prose, vividly rendered settings, and complex characters, these and the other stories in this elegant collection bring readers into the experience of Indian women at home and abroad, where modernity offers them lives their grandmothers could never dream of, while at the same time taking away parts of their history. With a delicate touch, Indu Sundaresan weaves the pieces of the conflict together, presenting a nuanced and unforgettable tapestry.
Sam Hawthorne, a twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army captain, arrives at the princely state of Rudrakot in search of his missing brother, Mike, carrying with him wounds from combat in Burma and several secrets. But Sam's mission is soon threatened by the unlikeliest of sources -- he falls hopelessly in love with Mila, daughter of the local political agent. Mila, unexpectedly attracted to Sam, nurtures a secret of her own and finds herself torn between loyalty to her family and Sam.
The Splendor of Silence opens twenty-one years later with Olivia, Sam's daughter, receiving a trunk of treasures from India, along with a letter from an unknown narrator that finally fills all the silences of her childhood -- telling her the story of her parents' passionate and enduring love for each other that throws them in the path of racial prejudice, nationalist intrigue, and the explosive circumstances of a country and a society on the brink of independence from British rule.
Sweeping and poignant, reminiscent of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet novels, The Splendor of Silence will draw a host of devoted new fans to this hugely gifted storyteller.
Indien, 1588: Als ihre Blicke sich das erste Mal begegnen, ist das Schicksal des Moghulreiches besiegelt ... Mehrunnisa, die Tochter eines Provinzadeligen, und Kronprinz Jahangir werden ihre schicksalhafte Begegnung auf dem Basar von Kabul nie vergessen – aber der Moghulkaiser verweigert der nicht standesgemäßen Verbindung seine Zustimmung. Gegen ihren Willen muss Mehrunnisa einen brutalen General des Herrschers heiraten. Unter den wachsamen Augen des Hofstaats versuchen die beiden Liebenden verzweifelt, trotzdem einen Weg zueinander zu finden, ohne dabei den Fallstricken der Palastpolitik zum Opfer zu fallen. Als die Situation bei Hofe sich zuspitzt und ein Bürgerkrieg auszubrechen droht, müssen Jahangir und Mehrunnisa sich entscheiden, wem sie wahre Treue schulden ...
Jetzt als eBook kaufen und genießen: Der fesselnde historische Roman »Die Pfauenprinzessin« von Indu Sundaresan – der epische Auftakt einer zweibändigen Historiensaga über die bekannteste Herrscherin Indiens. Wer liest, hat mehr vom Leben: dotbooks – der eBook-Verlag.