Tarun J. Tejpal biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Tarun J. Tejpal
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Tarun J. Tejpal

How to pronounce Tarun J. Tejpal: The-roon Tage-pall (first syllable rhymes with age, second with hall)

Tarun J. Tejpal Biography

Tarun J Tejpal born was born in an Army household on March 15, 1963. His father was in Indian Army, and he grew up in many parts of India. He graduated in economics from Punjab University in Chandigarh in Punjab, and is a journalist, publisher, and novelist. In a 26-year career, he has been an editor with the India Today and the Indian Express groups, and the managing editor of Outlook, India's premier newsmagazine. In March 2000, he started Tehelka, a news organisation that has earned a global reputation for its aggressive public interest journalism.

In 2001 Asiaweek listed Tejpal as one of Asia's 50 most powerful communicators, and BusinessWeek declared him among 50 leaders at the forefront of change in Asia. In 2007 The Guardian named him among the 20 who constitute India's new elite; and in 2009 BusinessWeek named Tarun one of India's 50 most powerful people.

Tarun's debut novel, The Alchemy of Desire, was published in 2005, was hailed by the Sunday Times (UK) as "an impressive and memorable debut". Le Figaro called it a "masterpiece"; and Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul declared, "At last – a new and brilliantly original novel from India." In France the book won the Prix Millepages and was the finalist for the prestigious Prix Femina.

Tarun's second novel and third novels are The Valley of Masks (2011) and The Story of My Assassins (2012).

Tarun lives in New Delhi with his wife and two daughters.

Tarun Tejpal's website

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Interview

A veteran Indian journalist, Tarun Tejpal discusses the place of fiction in laying bare society's truths.

What led you to decide to write a fictionalized version of the events that happened to you after the Tehelka exposé? Why a novel rather than nonfiction?

Well, the novel is about much, much more than just the fall-out of the Tehelka exposé. The obvious factual aspects of the exposé were being dealt with by us in the normal journalistic way. The amazing thing the exposé did for someone like me—a chronic literary animal—is to open up an incredible hinterland of material, as becomes seldom available to writers of fiction: rare insights into the metabolisms of power, the underbelly of India, crime and politics, justice and spirituality.

In fact, as I marinated the teeming themes in my head, the challenge became finding a narrative voice and form that could wrestle down the endless complexities of India, of the material that was swirling inside of me.

No non-fiction could have made it possible to address this wealth of physical, moral, and emotional material. It's why we still read and write the novel.

How has your career as a journalist and publisher influenced your writing?

Primarily, I'd say by keeping me viscerally connected to the real issues and people of India. I have come to ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tarun J. Tejpal at BookBrowse
The Story of My Assassins jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tarun J. Tejpal 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.
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