New Delhi, February 2021: Penguin Random House India proudly announces the acquisition and publication of a stunning new novel, titled ASOCA: A Sutra, by prizewinning writer Irwin Allan Sealy. Earlier, Penguin had published the thirtieth anniversary edition of Sealy’s critically acclaimed debut novel The Trotter-Nama and this is the second book by the author to be published byPRH. This book will be released under Penguin’s Viking imprint in July 2021.

The novel will be presented as an imagined memoir of Ashoka The Great, the emperor who ruled most of the the Indian Subcontinent and played a pivotal role in the spread of Buddhism from India to other parts of Asia in the 3rd century BC.

Asoca, tells the story of the emperor who went from masterminding one of the biggest and deadliest wars to becoming one of the most profound advocates of non-violence. The beauty of Sealy’s prose will transport readers to a time and place that is remarkable.

‘With Asoca, I’m delighted to be back with old friends at Penguin!’

Irwin Allan Sealy

 Manasi Subramaniam, Executive Editor and Head of Literary Rights, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘It’s an incendiary, powerful work that appears to combine the very best of Allan’s preceding books. Slipping easily from mock gravitas to straightforward humour, his infinite variety is on full display here. It’s a rich, dark-but-whimsical parable about nationhood and violence and religion and personal dilemmas. I found it irreverent, funny and poignant, rich with skepticism and heart. I absolutely loved it!’.

‘Working with Allan on this brilliant novel has been my great privilege and joy. I can’t wait for his fans to read ASOCA, and delighted that Manasi Subramaniam and her team at Viking, PRH will be publishing the book in 2021’ says Priya Doraswamy, Lotus Lane Literary.

 About the Author

 Irwin Allan Sealy was born and raised in India. He has lived and worked in Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Australia. His first novel The Trotter-Nama was published in 1988 by Knopf and tells the story of seven generations of an Anglo-Indian family.  The book garnered great praise and acclaim.  Allan has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book, Europe and South Asia, in 1989, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1991, the Crossword Book Award in 1998, and the Padma Shri, a high honor bestowed by the President of India in 2012.  He now lives in Dehradun, India.

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