Few cricketers in the world have aroused as much interest and intrigue as Imran Khan has. His divorce makes it to the front page of British tabloids; his largely hardline views on Pakistani politics and cricket don’t fail to trigger controversy in the sub-continent.
A new biography on Khan, Imran Khan: the Cricketer, the Celebrity, the Politician by acclaimed biographer Christopher Sandford was written after speaking many of Khan’s former lovers, friends such as Mick Jagger, Nelson Mandela, Keith Richards and General Parvez Mushrraf, and after extensive interviews with Khan himself and his former wife Jemima Goldsmith.
Imran Khan: the Cricketer, the Celebrity, the Politician: By Christopher Sandford, 384 pages, £20 (around Rs1,600)
Expect juicy anecdotes from former overnight partners—one of whom calls him “an astonishing lovemaker”. Also expect new insights on why his views on Pakistani politics and cricket tend to be controversial and his philanthropic inclinations. Sandford has chosen to focus more on his personal life, which, he suggests is much more colourful than his politics. Sandford insinuates that Khan and Benazir Bhutto had an affair while both were in Oxford and that Khan’s mother tried to set up an arranged marriage between the two.
Sandford has earlier penned biographies of Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, David Bowie, and most recently, controversial film-maker Roman Polanski.
The book charts Khan’s journey from the winter of 1974, when the magazine Cricketer International published an article on a new elite group of young talented players, who challenged cricket’s eternal stereotypes. Of the five featured stars on the cover, was 21-year-old Imran, who posed wearing a tight black shirt and gaudy trousers, oozing supreme self-confidence and oomph. From his achievements on the cricket field as the Pakistan captain who took the World Cup and one of the game’s best all-rounders, the Imran Khan story, says the publisher’s note, “is full of colour and contradictions”.
Published by HarperCollins, the book is scheduled to arrive in Indian bookstores by the second week of September.
Imran Khan: the Cricketer, the Celebrity, the Politician:
By Christopher Sandford,
384 pages, £20 (around Rs1,600).
Princesses, zamindars and forbidden love
Ancient Rajputana, 18th century Lucknow, Parineeta-era Bengal and Ranjit Singh’s
Punjab are the backdrops to a series of historical romances titled The Kama Kahani series, which hits bookstores next month.
The Kama Kahani series: Random House India, 240 pages each, Rs150 each.
Marketed by Random House India as India’s first historical romance series and the Indian Mills and Boons books, they are written by Kiran Kohl, Alessandra Shahbaz, Jasmine Saigal and Sanyogita Rathore.
Lavishly written, the books are about forbidden, tempestuous love between dashing princes and rakish zamindars, and beautiful women living in castles. Sample this excerpt to get an idea of what to expect: “Shivendra’s restless gaze lit on a bewitchingly beautiful girl, skimming over her odhana and noting her irrefutably feminine form; flawless, oval face; radiant, honey-coloured skin; exquisite black hair threaded with gold and unbearably lustrous under the flames of a hundred diyas. Immaculately styled, midnight blue shervani moulded to his broad shoulders, he stood spellbound, unable to tear his eyes away... eyes that Nandini suddenly found herself trembling under.”
Not everybody’s cup of tea, but fans of for classic period romances, these books are worth looking forward to.
The Kama Kahani series:
Random House India,
240 pages each,