Sunday, May 17, 2015

New book explores untouched facets of the Sikkim Story

Random House India has announced plans to release, “Sikkim: Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom” by Andrew Duff, on 01 June, 2015. Introducing the book as a “unique account of the Himalayan Kingdom”, an official Random House India press communiqué explains the release this year as timed to mark “the 40th anniversary of the annexation of Sikkim”. The book will be presenting the Sikkim story from fresh, hitherto largely unexplored perspective of the Himalayan Kingdom as a pawn in the Cold War.
Andrew Duff, a freelance journalist based in London and Scotland, has reportedly drawn on a wide range of sources, including newly released secret British Foreign Office reports and US cables (The Kissinger Cables) along with letters of two Scottish missionary teachers which provide a contemporaneous account of Indian intelligence involvement and censorship in Sikkim in the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s.
His interest in Sikkim was piqued by stories of his grandfather’s visits to Sikkim and Darjeeling in the 1920s [see accompanying interview for details]. Walking hundreds of miles, Duff retraced his grandfather’s steps and combining his discoveries with interviews and archival research, has penned what advance reviews attest as a “masterly and accessible account”.
Prajwal Parajuly, author of The Gurkha’s Daughter and The Land Where I Flee, introduces the book as: “A masterly and accessible account... superbly researched, with sources ranging from Scottish missionary teachers’ letters to classified US intelligence records and packed full of extraordinary characters straight out of a James Bond novel. The book has great relevance to today’s Asia; anyone with an interest in India and China’s complex relationship should read this enthralling book.”
Michael Burleigh, author of Small Wars, Faraway Places, has also extended a glowing review: “Andrew Duff’s book is a remarkable piece of detective work. In addition to the fascinating human stories Duff relates, the book is a very valuable addition to how the Cold War played out in South Asia, and to the history of the foreign policies of China, India and the US… that it is exceptionally well written makes it all the more compelling to read”.
Caroline Newbury, VP Marketing and Corporate Communications, at Random House India, informs that the book has already been released in the UK and will be available across India, including Sikkim, by 01 June, priced Rs. 599.

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