Lata: A Life in Music is the first English translation of Yatindra Mishra’s award-winning Hindi book Lata: Sur-Gatha
New Delhi, September 2022: On the eve of the 93rd birthday of India’s most iconic vocal artist Lata Mangeshkar, Penguin Random House India proudly announces the acquisition and publication of her biography titled, Lata: A Life in Music. Originally written in Hindi by writer-poet Yatindra Mishra, this is its timely and monumental translation by the award-winning writer and translator, Ira Pande. Celebrating art in its totality and telling the life story of India’s most loved singer of all time, this book is scheduled to release early 2023 under Penguin’s Vintage imprint.
The author, Yatindra Mishra, says, ‘Lata di is an artist of global repute; it has been a real honour to see this well-loved and awarded book find new readers in English.’
Yatindra Mishra’s decade-long dialogue with Late Mangeshkar has resulted in a book that goes beyond the conventional and explores the lesser-known aspects of this great artist, introducing the readers to Lata Mangeshkar as an intellectual and cultural exponent and providing a rare glimpse into the person behind the revered enigma. It is an exclusive peek into her life—both personal and professional.
On the English edition, translator Ira Pande says, ‘to translate Yatindra Mishra’s book while bringing forth the sweet purity of Lataji’s voice, her genuine humility and dedication to her music has been both a challenge and a joy.’
At the confluence of cinema, music and literature, this tome is the most towering biography of the voice of the nation that also documents sociocultural changes from the late British era through post-Independence India right up to the twenty-first century. This is the story of the various myths, mysteries, truths and contradictions that make a human an icon and make an icon incredibly humane.
Remarking on the uniqueness of Mangeshkar’s place in Indian culture, Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India says, ‘there will perhaps not be another artist as extraordinary as Lata Mangeshkar.’
The original Hindi version of this book, Lata: Sur-Gatha, won the 64th National Film Award and the MAMI Award for Best Writing on Cinema (2016–17).
Thrilled to be publishing the book and calling it a ‘go-to source to know more about the life story behind the most recognized voice across generations,’ is Chirag Thakkar, Commissioning Editor, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India.
Among stellar writers and public figures who have endorsed the book are Gulzar, Shubha Mudgal, Kavita Krishnamurthy and others.
About the Author
Yatindra Mishra is the author of four collections of poetry and some well-received books on Indian music, cinema and arts in the Hindi language such as Girija, Devpriya, Sur Ki Baradari, Akhtari and Shahernama Faizabad (ed.).
About the Translator
Ira Pande is a writer, columnist and accomplished translator. Over the years, she has translated short stories, novellas, memoirs, autobiographies and literary portraits. She was awarded the Crossword and Sahitya Akademi award for her translation of Manohar Shyam Joshi’s novella Tata Professor in 2010. She has also translated Shivani’s stories and memoir Amader Shantiniketan, as well as Apradhini: Women without Men, a work on jailed women.