Pankaj Mishra in Leipzig (March 2014)
|Born||1969 (age 47–48)
Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Known for||The Romantics
From the Ruins of Empire
Age of Anger
|Awards||2000 Art Seidenbaum award for Best First Fiction
2013 Crossword Book Award (nonfiction)
2014 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize
In 1992, Mishra moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper The Pioneer. His first book, Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995), was a travelogue that described the social and cultural changes in India in the context of globalisation. His novel The Romantics (2000), an ironic tale of people longing for fulfilment in cultures other than their own, was published in 11 European languages and won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. This novel, with some autobiographical strains, is a bildungsroman. The narrative begins with the nineteen year old protagonist Samar coming to the city of Varanasi from Allahabad. A large part of the novel, including its end, is set in Varanasi. Gradually, he realizes that the city is a site for mystery. In his quest for knowledge, Samar moves from place to place, but in the closing section he comes back to the city for the last time. Thus, the narrative ends where it had begun. His 2004 book An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond (2006), describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia. Mishra's book From the Ruins of Empire (2012) examines the question, he says, of "how to find a place of dignity for oneself in this world created by the West, in which the West and its allies in the non-West had reserved the best positions for themselves."
In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of writing on India, India in Mind. His writings have been anthologised in The Picador Book of Journeys (2000), The Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature (2004), Away: The Indian Writer as Expatriate (2004), and A History of Indian Literature in English (2003), among many other titles. He has introduced new editions of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim (Modern Library), E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India (Penguin Classics), J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur (NYRB Classics), Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Penguin) and R. K. Narayan’s The Ramayana (Penguin Classics). He has also introduced two volumes of V.S. Naipaul’s essays, The Writer and the World and Literary Occasions.
Mishra has written literary and political essays for The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the New Yorker, among other American, British, and Indian publications. He is a columnist for Bloomberg View and the New York Times Book Review. His work has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Boston Globe, Common Knowledge, the Financial Times, Granta, The Independent, the New Republic, the New Statesman, the Wall Street Journal, n+1, The Nation, Outlook, Poetry, Time, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, and The Washington Post. He divides his time between London and India, and is currently working on a novel.
He was the Visiting Fellow for 2007–08 at the Department of English, University College, London, UK. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008. In November 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the top 100 global thinkers. In February 2015, Prospect nominated him to its list of 50 World Thinkers.
- 2000 Art Seidenbaum award for Best First Fiction
- 2013 Crossword Book Award (nonfiction) for From the Ruins of Empire.
- 2014 Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding for From the Ruins of Empire
- 2014 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (Nonfiction), valued at $150,000 one of the largest prizes in the world of its kind.
- 2014 Premi Internacional D'assaig Josep Palau i Fabre
List of works
- Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995)
- The Romantics (2000)
- An End to Suffering: the Buddha in the World (2004)
- India in Mind, edited by Pankaj Mishra (2005)
- Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond (2006)
- Kashmir: The Case for Freedom (2011)
- From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia (2012)
- A Great Clamour: Encounters with China and Its Neighbours (2013)
- Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017) ISBN 9780374274788
- "Indian Writer Pankaj Mishra wins Yale literary Prize for 2014". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Pankaj Mishra website.
- Mishra, Rajnish (2015). "Psychogeography and the Kashi Texts". Literaria Linguistica: A Journal of Research in Literature, Linguistics and Language Teaching. 1 (1): 63. ISSN 2454-5228.
- Hirsh Sawhney (10 December 2012), In Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, retrieved 2 August 2013
- "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Foreign Policy website.
- Prospect website.
- Harris, Paul (4 May 2013). "Niall Ferguson apologises for anti-gay remarks towards John Maynard Keynes". The Observer. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Mishra, Pankaj (3 November 2011). "Watch this man". Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- "'Popular choice' ruled at book awards". Times of India. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Prize Citation for Pankaj Mishra". Windham–Campbell Literature Prize. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pankaj Mishra.|
- Writer's website
- Pankaj Mishra interview at The Guardian
- Philosopher King by Adam Goodheart – book review in The New York Times
- "Pankaj Mishra, Intellectual and Spiritual Vagrant" – interview by Wendy Cheng at Loggernaut
- "Pankaj Mishra in conversation with Hirsh Sawhney" – interview by Hirsh Sawhney at the Brooklyn Rail
- Pankaj Mishra – interview with Pankaj Mishra by Sarah Fay for "The Believer", 2007
- Podcast of Pankaj Mishra and Arundhati Roy discussing "India in the World" at the Shanghai International Literary Festival
- "Turning the Mirror: A View From the East – A conversation with Pankaj Mishra", Ideas Roadshow, 2013
- Pankaj Mishra in Conversation with Hirsh Sawhney (December 2012)
- Reviews & articles