John Murray snaps up Bengali novel after Philip Hensher recommendation

Rights - Fiction Thursday, 10 January 2019

Mark Richards acquires The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay after Hensher tipped the book in The Spectator

John Murray publisher Mark Richards has acquired world rights, excluding India and Indian
languages, in The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, after Philip Hensher named it one of his books of the year in The Spectator. Richards bought the rights from Esha
Chatterjee at BEE books.

Hensher described the novel, translated by Arunava Sinha, as a "chaotic, furious, extraordinary Bengali confection by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay; a family teetering between impoverished gentry and shameful shopkeeping, a stolen box of gold, a ghost... Irresistible."

Richards said: "I had a tremendously enjoyable weekend reading The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die after seeing Philip Hensher’s praise of it. It’s fresh, funny and immediate, and thrusts you into the lives of an extended and somewhat rickety Bengali family, with two brilliant central characters and a host of unforgettable supporting ones."

The author (pictured), who now lives in Kolkata, was born in 1935 in present-day Bangladesh and has worked as a schoolteacher, journalist and author. The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die is described by John Murray as 'a much-loved contemporary classic'. The first English translation was published in India in 2017.

Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, he has also won the Muse India award for translation and been shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He was born and grew up in Kolkata, and lives and writes in New Delhi.

John Murray will publish on 11 July in hardback, audiobook and ebook.

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