radhika jha
Radhika Jha

RADHIKA JHA (born Delhi 1970), studied anthropology at Amherst College and did her Masters in Political Science at the University of Chicago. She composes and performs Odissi dancing. She has worked for Hindustan Times and BusinessWorld, as well as the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, where she started up the Interact project for the education of the children of victims of terrorism in different parts of India.

Radhika lived in Tokyo for 6 years and thoroughly immersed herself in all aspects of Japanese culture. She then moved to Beijing and is now based in Athens with her Ambassador husband and two children. She has also published a short story collection called THE ELEPHANT & THE MARUTI from which the story SLEEPERS has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She regularly contributes to anthologies and her stories are published in newspapers and magazines.

'Perhaps no Indian since Ruskin Bond has used the English language so beautifully.' The Statesman

My Beautiful shadow
My Beautiful Shadow

Radhika Jha’s novel is set in Japan and delves into its darkest heart but her themes are thoroughly universal. The female narrator belongs to a club, one that millions of women belong to. It involves beautiful clothes and accessories and is the most important thing in their lives. For Kayo it is an obsession, one that threatens to destroy her life as a good wife, mother and suburban housewife. Reunited with her beautiful childhood friend, whose life appears so glamorous, Kayo wants to become her, she is pulled ever deeper into a dark underworld of lies, debt, prostitution, even death. A powerfully atmospheric account of one woman losing her way and a mesmerising tale of consumerism gone mad.

‘A fascinating and dangerous novel. Like the windows of a department UK COVERstore, it seduces us, drawing us into its trap.’ Pages des Libraires

'An intimate and incisive first-person narrative, carefree and disturbing.' Femina

‘A fascinating book on the seductive (and toxic) power of shopping. Stronger than the pang of conscience we suffer every time we hand our credit card over with a smile to the shop assistant.’ Marie Claire, Italy

‘The bright universe of desirable fashion is captured with Faustian logic: the soul is given as a hostage to a desperate need.’ Corriere della Sera

'Expertly executed.’ Hindustan Times


HarperCollins India

Editions Philippe Picquier France

Sellerio Editore Italy

AST Russia

Alianza Spain & Latin America

Jacaranda Books UK

Material: finished copies (208pp).

lanterns on their horns
Lanterns On Their Horns UK Cover

Manoj Mishra gives up his PhD and moves with his wife to be part of KIRD - an institute that perfects artificial insemination, fertilising the Indian cow with European sperm so she produces more milk to end poverty in the villages. In Nandpur, a village that has consciously decided to turn it's back on modernity, Ramu the village charity case sneaks off and marries a beautiful educated girl, Laxmi. A few weeks later he finds an abandoned cow in the forest and adopts it. The two unlikely couples meet when Manoj inseminates Ramu's no-good cow with European bull sperm and they all rush headlong towards a confrontation in which what is at stake is not a cow or a human, but the identity of Nandpur, and of India, itself.


The vividly drawn cast of characters, the intimate social intercourse described with playful humour, the underlying seriousness of the themes - the juggling of the old and the new, the whole process of modernisation - gives echoes of Naguib Mahfouz and a connection to the literary tradition of Dickens. Radhika Jha is the kind of novelist who can deliver on several different levels at once, while always maintaining the lightest of touches.


‘Radhika Jha's second novel is about transformations in the heart and body of India - a highly affecting and finely crafted story. Lanterns is a seductive novel about the potential change beckoning hundreds of millions of Indians: a witness to India's complex interiors, and the revolutionary "churn" underway. This wonderfully warm and properly grounded novel is a great place to become familiar with it.’ Independent


'A marvellous book. Great novels succeed in telling the truth in ways that the most detailed textbooks can never hope to achieve, and Lanterns on their Horns does just this. Radhika Jha deals with that most serious of subjects, how to introduce modern methods to backward rural communities, with a sensitivity, a playfulness and an empathy which forces the reader to understand what is at stake. The village of Old Nandgaon will live on in the reader’s heart long after progress has swept its real life counterparts into the dustbin of history. Through the passions, the struggles, the ambitions and the tragedies of the inhabitants of Nandgaon, the reader begins to understand something about what is lost as well as gained when a poor rural village is dragged into the twenty-first century. Lanterns on their Horns will change the way you think about the world’s poorest billion.' Michael Ridpath


‘The village is untouched by the glitz and clamour of modern living. Its sense of duty, as also its sense of beauty, inherited from age-old beliefs… The circle of life completes itself here among the idyllic huts whose walls are decorated with beautiful paintings that hark back to the days of Krishna and his cowherd friends… No one goes hungry in Nandgaon; life is both good and godly. What could possibly penetrate this carefully protected cocoon of innocence? Only artificial means can pierce this fictional village in Radhika Jha's novel’ The Hindu


HarperCollins India


Editions Philippe Picquier France


Neri Pozza Italy


Beautiful Books UK (rights reverted)


House of Books NL


Material: finished copies (442pp).



The Elephant And The Maruti

From Shibu Mondal, the physically challenged beggar with a dark past, to Sushila, the child-wife who weaves colourful dreams from a pile of garbage and hopes for a bright future unlike hers for her yet to be conceived child, the author takes the reader through a maze of emotions. A freak episode involving an elephant and a Maruti car affects someone totally unrelated. The slow build-up to communal violence where living, thinking people become nameless, mindless mobs; the story of the young girl fascinated by the idea of beauty provides a heady concoction with glimpses into many worlds. The author uses language brilliantly, keeping it simple and to the point. The narrative is taut and crisp, but there is always an undercurrent of passion in her stories - a passion for life, for the city of Delhi, and for the common man who rises above all odds and comes up trumps.


This collection enhances Radhika Jha's reputation as a writer of sensory and philosophical power.


Penguin India


Arena Holland


Neri Pozza Italy


Editions Philippe Picquier France


Dom Quixote Portugal


Defne Yayinevi Turkey


Material: finished copies (243pp).


After the death of her father Leela’s family is forced to leave Kenya. Struggling to survive, on the streets of an alien city, she discovers an unusual quality in herself - her extraordinary sensitivity to smell. A seemingly innocuous and occasionally useful attribute, it gradually begins to colour her every emotion and response.


Soon, the dark feral stench of her own body threatens to overpower her, and Leela fears that she may have lost all control over her own life.


‘Radhika Jha’s story is hard to let go: she writes this orphan’s tale with effortless immediacy, like Leela improvising one of her pungent, seductive feasts.’ LA Times Book Review


‘Richly described and erotically charged.’ Washington Post

‘Outstanding. A novel to rival Patrick Suskind’s Perfume.’ Punch


‘Her writing is generous, unbridled, sensual. In her company, one begins to rediscover Paris, its beauty, its mirages, its traps, with a roving eye.’ Le Figaro


Penguin India (original publisher)


Editions Philippe Picquier France


Neri Pozza Italy


Arena Holland


Soho Press USA


Quartet UK


Blanvalet/Bertelsmann Germany


Natur och Kultur Sweden


Dom Quixote Portugal


Diigisi Greece


Fuso Japan


Ediciones el Cobre Spanish


Alfa Narodna Knjiga Serbia


Leaders Publishers Korea


Editura Leda Romania


Janet 45 Bulgaria


Material: finished copies (307pp).