Books on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Vedanta literature worth over Rs 50 lakh were sold in the recently-concluded 47th International Kolkata Book Fair.
“Ashoka was a self- aware, self -righteous man and that is what my book reflects,” said author Patrick Olivelle. He was speaking at the launch of his book ‘Ashoka’, held today at the India International Centre. The first of the many upcoming books, ‘Ashoka’ is the inaugural book of the series called ‘Indian Lives’ launched by Harper
Collins publishing house and curated and edited by Ramchandra Guha.
Guha introduced the series and emphasized that Ashoka, India’s inaugural ruler, was a fitting subject to begin with.
While providing an overview of the themes explored in ‘Ashoka’, the author Olivelle expressed that his work doesn’t constitute a traditional biography. He emphasized the impossibility of encapsulating Ashoka’s entire life within the confines of a single book. Instead, it serves as a portrayal of Ashoka’s life, emerging from his own writings. Olivelle stated, “Through this book, I’ve allowed Ashoka to define himself, permitting the subjects to paint his
portrait in their own unique ways.'”
A distinguished author, Olivelle hails from Sri Lanka and is well-versed in Sanskrit and Indian Religions. He produced translations of early Upanishads and the four early Dharmasūtras.
Guha emphasized that ‘Indian Lives’ is a meticulously researched series, and authors are chosen based on their proficiency in both the subject matter and the individual they are writing about. He stated, “Numerous scholars, both young and seasoned, from India and abroad, have contributed to the creation of this series.
The ‘Indian Lives’ series features biographies of notable figures such as Sheikh Abdullah by Chitralekha Zutshi, Jayaprakash Narayan by Akshaya Mukul, Kasturba Gandhi by Aparna Kapadia, and Sarojini Naidu by Rohit De, among others.