Out Of Line: A Personal And Political Biography Of Nayantara Sahgal
Nayantara Sahgal’s life folds history into experience. Ritu Menon unfolds that experience into a historical narrative of surpassing appeal.’ – Gopalkrishna Gandhi ‘Nayantara Sahgal’s personal life was enmeshed with historical events in India: Ritu Menon’s biography of her is a delicate exploration of both. I enjoyed reading it very much.’ – Leila Seth Nayantara Sahgal, born into the first family of Indian politics, is one of India’s finest writers. Novelist, essayist, political commentator and memoirist, everything she wrote, whether political or literary, followed the evolution of democracy in post- Independence India. What connects Sahgal’s fiction and non-fiction is politics; what propels her politics is the idea of India. The three strands of personal, political and literary are inextricably woven in her writing, and just as it is impossible to separate a writer’s life from her text, Nayantara Sahgal cannot be read without reference to the political life of the country. Charged with stepping out of line in her political writing, Sahgal displayed a similar tendency in her personal life, risking both social disapproval and political displeasure. She carried on regardless. This literary, personal and political biography of this important writer is a first, based on interviews, private papers and letters, first-hand information and archival research.