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Indra Sinha biography

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Indra Sinha

Indra Sinha

Indra Sinha Biography

Indra Sinha (born in 1950 in Mumbai, India) is a British writer of English and Indian descent. Animal's People, his most recent novel, was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize and winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Europe and South Asia. Set in the fictional Indian city of Khaufpur, Animal's People was a reworking of the Bhopal disaster based on Sinha's long association working with the Bhopal survivors.

His earlier works include translations of ancient Sanskrit texts into English, a non-fiction memoir of the pre-internet generation (The Cybergypsies), and a novel, The Death of Mr. Love.

Formerly a copywriter for Ogilvy & Mather, London, and, from 1984, Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners, Sinha has the distinction of having been voted one of the top ten British copywriters of all time. He became known for hard-hitting, campaigning advertising for charities such as Amnesty International and the Bhopal Medical Appeal, but became increasingly disenchanted with commercial advertising. He resigned from the agency in 1995 to concentrate on writing.

Sinha is the son of an Indian naval officer and an English writer. He was educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, Rajasthan in India; Oakham School, Rutland, England and Pembroke College, Cambridge in England, where he studied English literature. He and his wife live in Sussex. They have three grown children.



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Interview

Indra Sinha discusses many aspects of his life and his writing, in particular Animal's People, a fictionalized account of the aftermath of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India.

(Reprinted with permission from The Book Depository.)


Mark Thwaite: What gave you the idea for Animal's People?

Indra Sinha: In 1996, I made some notes for a screenplay titled Green Song, which was an attempt to tell a fictionalized account not of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, but of its aftermath -- of the suffering, the wicked neglect, and the struggle of its people -- people I know very well -- for justice. The story of Bhopal is almost beyond belief. In October 2002, Outlook India wrote:

"Bhopal isn't only about charred lungs, poisoned kidneys and deformed foetuses. It's also about corporate crime, multinational skullduggery, injustice, dirty deals, medical malpractice, corruption, callousness, and contempt for the poor. Nothing else explains why the victims' average compensation was just $500 -- for a lifetime of misery...Yet the victims haven't given up. Their struggle for justice and dignity is one of the most valiant anywhere. They have unbelievable energy and hope...the fight has not ended. It won't, so long as our collective conscience stirs."

This was the background, but novels are about people, not issues. I knew Bhopal too well. To ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Indra Sinha at BookBrowse
Animal's People jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Indra Sinha but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Aravind Adiga

    Aravind Adiga

    Aravind Adiga is the author of The White Tiger, which was awarded the 2008 Man Booker Prize, Last Man in Tower, and a collection of stories, Between the Assassinations. He was born in India and attended Columbia and Oxford ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Animal's People

    Try:
    The White Tiger
    by Aravind Adiga

  • Katherine Boo

    Katherine Boo

    Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Her reporting has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur "Genius" grant, and a National Magazine Award for ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Animal's People

    Try:
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers
    by Katherine Boo

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