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|Born||January 26,1956 (age 57–58)
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
She was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in 1956 and spent her childhood between New Delhi and Nainital, in the foothills of the Himalayas. A Kumaoni by birth, she married to Rajiv Gokhale when she was eighteen. Gokhale dropped out of college after a conflict over the bias against Indian literatures in the curriculum. She then published the film magazine “Super” from Bombay in the late seventies.
Namita Gokhale has written six novels, a collection of short stories, and several works of nonfiction, all in English. Her first novel, Paro: Dreams of Passion, 1984, a satire upon the Mumbai and Delhi elite caused an uproar due to its candid sexual humour. Gods Graves and Grandmother- an ironic fable about street life in Delhi was adapted into a musical play. Gokhale was diagnosed with cancer when she was just thirty-five and her husband died a few years later. The experience of illness and loss has informed her later books, A Himalayan Love Story, The Book of Shadows and Shakuntala, the play of memory. Gokhale has written two books of non-fiction. Mountain Echoes which deals with the Kumaoni way of life through the eyes of four highly talented and individualistic women. The Book of Shiva is an introduction to Shaivite philosophy and mythology. She had retold the Indian epic, The Mahabharata, in an illustrated version for young and first time readers.In Search of Sita – Revisiting Mythology, co-edited with Dr Malashri Lal, presents fresh interpretations of this enigmatic goddess and her indelible impact on the lives of Indian women. Gokhale's recent Priya: In Incredible Indyaa, resurrected somecharacters from her debut novel Paro. A collection of short stories, The Habit of Love, was published in January 2012.
Publishing is Gokhale’s other love. The Namita Gokhale editions, a signature imprint published in association with Roli Books, introduced some notable titles including Rashna Imhasly Gandhy’s The Psychology of Love and Neelima Dalmia Adhar’s biography of her father, R K Dalmia. She has conducted two memorable writers’ retreats in Landour, with Roli Books, for the Namita Gokhale editions. She is one of the founder directors of Yatra Books which co-publishes with Penguin Books in Hindi, Marathi, Urdu and other Indian languages including in English in a ground breaking series.
Namita Gokhale conceptualised the International Festival of Indian Literature, Neemrana 2002, and also The Africa Asia Literary Conference, 2006. She has worked Translating Bharat, and Textile Narratives with the literary consultancy Siyahi.
She is a founder-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival along with the author, William Dalrymple, which started in 2006. She is also festival adviser to Mountain Echoes: A Literary Festival in Bhutan and the Kathmandu Literary Jatra, a first of its kind literature festival in Nepal.
She is currently the member-secretary of Indian Literature Abroad (ILA), an initiative by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, to translate and promote contemporary literature from the Indian languages into the major international languages, particularly the six UNESCO languages (English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Chinese).
Paro: Dreams of Passion, 1984
Gods, Graves, and Grandmother, 1994
A Himalayan Love Story, 1996
Mountain Echoes - Reminiscenes of Kumaoni Women, 1994
The Book of Shadows, 1999
The Book of Shiva, 2000
Shakuntala: The Play of Memory, 2005
The Mahabharata, 2009
In Search of Sita, 2009
Priya: In Incredible Indyaa, 2011
The Habit of Love, 2012
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