Nayantara Pandit Sahgal '47


Alumnae Achievement Awards 2002


Nayantara Pandit Sahgal ’47

Delegate to the U.N. General Assembly

Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree, University of Leeds

Sinclair Fiction Prize
Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Eurasia

Nayantara Pandit Sahgal ’47 is one of India's premier postcolonial novelists and political journalists. A former delegate to the U.N. General Assembly, she was born into a powerful political family; her uncle was the first prime minister and her mother was India's first ambassador to the U.N. Her closeness to India's postcolonial regime informs her work, both fiction and non-fiction. Nayantara critically examines India's sociopolitical culture since colonialism and creates a groundbreaking voice for women¡s issues in that patriarchal society.

A vocal opponent of Indira Gandhi's "Emergency” in the late 1960s, Nayantara deals provocatively with issues of sex, class, race, politics, and religion in her novels. Her works include Prison and Chocolate Cake (1954), A Time to Be Happy (1958), From Fear Set Free (1962), Mistaken Identity (1988), Rich Like Us (1985) and Indira Gandhi: Her Road to Power (1982).

An internationally-recognized writer, she has won numerous awards, including a Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Leeds in 1997, the Sinclair Fiction Prize (for Rich Like Us), and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Eurasia (for Plan for Departure).


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