Sonny Mehta

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Ajai Singh "Sonny" Mehta is a publisher and editor-in-chief of Alfred A Knopf.

He was educated at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, India,[1] and studied English and history at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.[2] He is the son-in-law of Biju Patnaik, ex-Chief Minister of Odisha state, India, having married his daughter, now the renowned writer Gita Mehta (whose brother is Naveen Patnaik, three-term Chief Minister of Odisha).

Mehta began his publishing career in London, where he co-founded Paladin Books and was editorial director of Pan Books, with its Picador imprint, under which his first success was The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer. He moved to New York to head Knopf in 1987. He is well known for moving in with Douglas Adams in order to make sure Adams finished his book, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Mehta is also famous for buying and publishing Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho after Simon & Schuster refused to publish it at the eleventh hour.

Mehta appears in the mostly fictional world of Lunar Park, in which Bret Easton Ellis mixes fact and fiction in a pseudo-memoir. Mehta also receives mention in the musical, "The Last Five Years".


Brown, Jason R. The Last Five Years. New York, 2002.


  1. ^ M. Prabha, The waffle of the toffs: a sociocultural critique of Indian writing in English (Oxford & IBH Publishing, 2000), p. 130.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Manus, "Sonny Mehta, Uneasy King of Knopf", The New York Observer, October 18, 1999.