New Delhi: Penguin India has launched its official blog that is a motley of exclusive stories of its books, authors and all things related to its publishing besides providing an opportunity to aspiring writers.
Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Amitav Ghosh`s Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novel `The Shadow Lines`, the blog has exclusive photographs of the author taken in the 1980s when he was writing the book and a few pages of his first type set manuscript.
Aspiring writers can contribute their short stories and get a chance of being published on the blog.
"These short stories will be published on `Penguin Unplugged` section for readers and aspiring writers to read, comment and provide constructive feedback. Penguin India`s editors will be closely involved in screening each story before it gets published on the blog," according to the publishing house.
Says Hemali Sodhi, vice president (Marketing and Promotion) of Penguin Books India, "This is just a humble beginning but we promise to keep bringing interesting little things as we go along.
"Penguin Unplugged will be a good resource for the readers to find exclusive, interesting connect with books, authors and everything interesting about reading. We are also happy that our first issue coincides with the 25th anniversary of Amitav Ghosh`s `Shadow Lines` and we have some very exclusive contest."
The `Unplugged Exclusive` section will give readers an opportunity to know about their favourite authors by providing a little peak into their creative process and their quirks.
"We have kickstarted `Unplugged Exclusive` with the inimitable crime writer Ravi Subramanium, author of the much-anticipated `Bankster`. `Penguin Vintage` will take one back in time with the exclusive collection of author photos, letters and all things from our archives. `I heart bookshops` is our initiative to promote the love of bookshops. We will be evolving this initiative as we go along," says Sodhi.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of `The Shadow Lines`, Penguin has printed 500 special edition copies for the occasion, each of which bears a personal message from Ghosh.
The blog`s `Penguin Retro` section features among other Ghosh`s pictures that date back to the 1980s, around the time when `The Shadow Lines` was written. It also has a few pages of the first typescript of the book.
The book was published in 1988 when the author was 32. It was written more than a decade before the novels that would bring Ghosh international fame and adulation: `The Glass Palace`, `The Hungry Tide`, `Sea of Poppies` and `River of Smoke`.
According to the publishers, "The Shadow Lines" is a book that struck a chord, and resonated through multiple readings.
"It was a book that made readers pause, and reflect - and look at themselves and the familiar world around them with new eyes."
Wrote Khushwant Singh about the book, "This is how the language should be used... This is how a novel should be written."