is proud to present the biography of
Grammy-nominated Hindustani classical vocalist Lakshmi Shankar
The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar
by Kavita Das
Lakshmi Aunty’s music was so unique…
She endeared herself to people all around the world with her beautiful renditons.
– Anoushka Shankar
Dancer, playback singer, film actor, Hindustani classical singer – Lakshmi Shankar was all this and more. Starting her journey as a teenager in Uday Shankar’s breakthrough troupe, she ventured into playback singing after a tragic illness cut short her dance career, going on to be the voice behind films such as Richard Attenborough’s critically acclaimed Gandhi. But her ultimate artistry lay in Hindustani classical music. Apart from a distinguished solo career, she also sang for her brother-in-law Ravi Shankar’s visionary music projects, including ‘I am Missing You’, produced by George Harrison of The Beatles. Unfortunately, despite these accomplishments, Lakshmi remains largely uncelebrated.
In this book, Kavita Das, who has known her since childhood, traces Lakshmi’s fascinating story that culminated in a Grammy nomination in 2009. She also explores the singer’s personal life – her enduring friendship with Ravi Shankar, her marriage and the death of her beloved daughter Viji.
Expansively researched, with anecdotes by Lakshmi herself, Poignant Song explores the journey of Indian music to the West through the remarkable life of a great artiste.
About the author
Kavita Das grew up in New York City, learning Carnatic and Bengali vocal music as well as Western classical violin. Before becoming a writer, she worked in the social-change sector for fifteen years. She now writes about culture, race, gender and their intersections. She is a contributor to NBC News Asian America, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and The Aerogram. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Tin House, Longreads, Kenyon Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Guernica, Quartz, Colorlines, and many other publications. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016.
Kavita teaches non-fiction writing at The New School, among other places. Her writing can be found at kavitadas.com.
For interviews, reviews and additional information, reach out to Prateek.Agarwal@harpercollins.co.in
Paperback | INR 399 | Non-fiction | Biography |Music