New Delhi, March 16
Award-winning British author, historian and academic Patrick French, best known for his biography of VS Naipaul, “The World Is What It Is”, and “India: A Portrait”, died in London on Thursday after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 57.
The India connect
- British author Patrick French is best known for his biography of VS Naipaul, “The World Is What It Is”, and “India: A Portrait”
- Was the inaugural dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in 2017; held a visiting position at Ashoka University
French, who was the inaugural dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in 2017 and also held a visiting position at Ashoka University, died in the morning, his mother-in-law and Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) co-founder Namita Gokhale said.
“It was so sudden. We all are so heartbroken. The death took place in London. He had been suffering from cancer for the past four years,” Gokhale said.
French is survived by his wife Meru Gokhale, former publisher at the Penguin Press Group, and four children.
He was “an exceptional father, friend, husband, teacher and mentor to many”, Meru Gokhale said from London.
“At 8.10 am, my beloved husband Patrick French passed away in London after a brave battle with cancer. His kindness and love will stay with us forever. He went in peace, without suffering,” she said in a statement.
The London-based historian, who did his PhD in South Asian Studies and an MA in English and American Literature, both from the University of Edinburgh, majorly focused on political and social analysis of India in the decades directly before and after Independence in 1947. His famous works include “Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer (1994)”.
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