Search - List of Books by Nayantara Sahgal
Nayantara Sahgal (born 10 May 1927) is an Indian writer in English. Her fiction deals with India's elite responding to the crises engendered by political change; she was one of the first female Indo-Anglian writers to receive wide recognition. She is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, the second of the three daughters born to Jawaharlal Nehru's sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.
Total Books: 35
Her father was a successful barrister and classical scholar who translated the Kashmiri epic history Rajatarangini into English from Sanskrit. He was arrested for his support of Indian independence and died in Lucknow prison jail in 1944, leaving behind his wife and their three daughters Chandralekha Mehta, Nayantara Sehgal and Rita Dar. Sahgal attended a number of schools as a girl, given the turmoil in the Nehru-Gandhi family during the last years (1935—47) of the Indian freedom struggle, wherein her father would die in prison while Nayantara and her sister Chandralekha were overseas attending college. Her uncle Jawaharlal Nehru too was in and out of prison, as a political prisoner, in the 1930s and 1940s. Ultimately, she graduated from Woodstock School in the Himalayan hill station of Landour in 1943 and later from Wellesley College (B.A., 1947), which she attended along with her sister Chandralekha, who graduated 2 years earlier in 1945. She has made her home for decades in Dehradun, a town close to Landour where she had been in boarding school (at Woodstock).
Sahgal, who has been married twice, was later married to E.N. Mangat Rai, a Punjabi Christian who was an Indian Civil Service officer. Rai died aged 87 in 2003 in Dehradun, where Sahgal and he had lived for several decades, in the house once owned by her mother. Though part of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Sahgal developed a reputation for maintaining her independent critical sense. Her independent tone, and her mother's, would lead to both falling out with her cousin Indira Gandhi during the most autocratic phases of Mrs. Gandhi's time in office in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Indira Gandhi canceled Sahgal's scheduled appointment as India's Ambassador to Italy within days of her return to power. Not one to be intimidated, Sahgal would (in 1982) write a scathing, insightful account of Gandhi's rise to power.
Gita Sahgal, the writer and journalist on issues of feminism, fundamentalism, and racism, director of prize-winning documentary films, and human rights activist, is her daughter.