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The South Asian Literary Recordings Project

Nayantara Sahgal, 1927-


Image of  Nayantara Sahgal, 1927-  (photo credit: Gaurav Sharma)

Select page numbers to listen or LCCN to display the bibliographic record. These recordings were made in the field and audio quality may vary.


  1. Rich like us: a novel.
    London: Heinemann, 1985
    (LCCN: 87116843)
  2. Mistaken identity.
    London: Heinemann, 1988
    (LCCN: 88029143, LC has different edition)

Nayantara Sahgal was born on May 10, 1927 into one of India's most prominent political families. With her mother Vijayalakshmi Pandit as India's first ambassador to the U.N., her uncle Jawaharlal Nehru as India's first Prime Minister, and her first cousin, Indira Gandhi as India's third Prime Minister, it is not surprising that politics and history inspire and underlie much of her writing. Beginning with her memoir Prison and Chocolate Cake, which was published in 1954, Sahgal authored other political writings - The Freedom Movement in India and Indira Gandhi, Her Road to Power - along with a collection of essays, Point of view: a personal response to life, literature and politics.

Novels bring out Nayantara Sahgal as a writer with feminist concerns seeking independent existence of women. She sees women as victims of conventional Indian society engaged in their quest for identity. In her last novel Mistaken Identity her concept of emancipation reaches its pinnacle where her female character is an out-and-out rebel.

Nayantara Sahgal served as an advisor to Sahitya Akademi's Board for English from 1972 to 1975. She was a member of Verghese Committee for Autonomy to Radio & TV in 1977-78. In 1978, she was member of the Indian delegation to U.N. General Assembly. She has also held the post of Vice-President of People's Union for Civil Liberties.

She received the Sinclair Prize (Britain) for fiction in 1985, Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986, and Commonwealth Writers Award (Eurasia) in 1987. She was also a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Washington from 1981 to 1982.

The Library of Congress has twenty-four works by her.

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October 6, 2010
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