The Gurkha's Daughter: Stories by Sikkim's student creates publishing buzz in London

LONDON: Prajwal Parajuly, a 27-year-old student at the University of Oxford from Gangtok, Sikkim, India, created quite a furore in the publishing world of London this week by being signed by the Steig Larson trilogy publisher Quercus Books in a respectable five-figure pound advance. With the signing, Mr. Parajuly becomes the youngest author at Quercus. 

Already touted as the next big thing in South Asian fiction by various publications of the Indian sub-continent, Prajwal's The Gurkha's Daughter: Stories clinched him the deal in a two-book signing, proving that talent -- irrespective of the market for short-story collections -- doesn't go unrecognized. This will be the first time a book on fiction has been written about Nepali-speaking people without the contents restricting themselves to Nepal. 

"Yes, the stories are based all over -- Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Nepal, Bhutan, New York," Prajwal said. "Nepali-speaking people don't live in Nepal alone. Those in the Diaspora, too, have amazing stories that needed to be written." 

Prajwal was represented by Susan Yearwood at the Susan Yearwood Literary Agency in London. 

The Gurkha's Daughter: Stories encapsulates various aspects of lives of Nepali-speaking people from troubled Gurkha pensioners to Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees living in a state of statelessness for more than two decades, and Diversity Visa winners struggling in New York to a retired Nepali-speaking Indian woman contemplating a premarital affair, these tales take us into fascinating worlds of a people who are oscillating from one identity crisis to another. 
Prajwal, the first Indian to be selected into the University of Oxford's highly selective Creative Writing Master's, worked as an advertising executive at "The Village Voice" in New York before embarking on writing his book. He has been the editor in chief of "detours: an explorer's guide to the midwest", a national award-winning travel magazine based on Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, in the United States.

The article was published in Sikkim Times on 25th of September 2011