Category Archives: Penguin India

History Of Penguin India


Penguin Comes to India

Penguin India was setup in 1985, exactly 50 years after Allen Lane founded Penguin Books. It wasn’t until October 1987 though that the first books from the Penguin stable came out. It’s been 25 years since the first 6 were published and we have passed many milestone’s in the process. Here’s a look at 10 of them.

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First Published Books

1987, marked the release of our first books and Penguin India officially came into being. Penguin’s first books came out in October of 1987, 25 years ago. It was also the year Anees Jung’s ‘Unveiling India’ became Penguin India’s first 10,000 copy seller.

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First Commercial Novel

Penguin India discovered Shobhaa De, the author. ‘Starry Nights’, published in 1991, was India’s first commercial novel and a huge success. The association strengthened and continued over numerous books over the years and in 2010, she became a Pulisher when she was given her own imprint by Penguin Books, titled ‘The Shobhaa De Book’.

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The Landscape Changes

In 1994, Penguin began another outstanding partnership upon the publishing of City of Djinns, a cult book on the city of Delhi, by William Dalrymple. Darlymple went on to author five books of history and travel, including the highly acclaimed best-seller ‘The Last Mughal’. Together they reshaped the landscape of historical writing and reading in India.

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The Penguin Way

One of the landmarks in Penguin India’s publishing history was the publication of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s fictional work ‘The Insider’ and his book on the Babri Masjid demolition, ‘Ayodhya 6 December 1992’, which was published posthumously according to the author’s wishes. It was another instance that heralded the Penguin way of publshing and our ethos.

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Man Booker Prize 1

1997 brought the Man Booker prize to India for Arundhati Roy’s debut effort – The God of Small Things. With this instant classic, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say and Roy’s nomination and her eventual win of the Man Booker prize brought the prize back to spotlight in the Indian literary world.

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Man Booker Prize 2

‘Life of Pi’ now being made into a movie was another extra ordinary feather in Penguin India’s unique history. It went on to win the Man Booker prize 4 years after Arundhati Roy’s ‘God of Small Things’ and immediately grabbed people’s attention.

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Man Booker Prize 3

Kiran Desai not only followed her mother’s footsteps in becoming an author but also went a step further to win the Man Booker prize in 2006 to join the illustrious club of Penguin India’s Booker winning authors.

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A New Wave in Indian Writing

In its seventh year of publication, First Proof is the annual anthology of recent Indian writings in English, comprising outstanding short fiction, essays, reportage, travel pieces, translations, memoirs, works in progress and poetry. It has heralded a new wave of fresh, energetic writing and have given hope to both young authors as well as readers looking to tap into future stars of the Indian literary world.

Penguin India


Celebrating 25 Years in India

October 2012 we will be 25. 25 illustrious years entertaining the most entertaining of nations; telling Indian stories. And as we march towards the next 25 years we take stock of what we’ve done in the past 25 years; where Indian writing is and where Indian readers are headed. This year is the celebration of you; it is the celebration of what you read and what you will read. Because for us ..what you read is what matters.

Penguin India

Penguin India

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