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UK author in US to sign new book

Audrey Blankenhagen's book The Curse of Kali is a skewed look at India during the British Raj, writes Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 23:19 IST

Audrey Blankenhagen of Epsom is travelling to USA to sign copies of her first novel, The Curse of Kali, a historical drama set in India during the British Raj.

But like a typical Westerner her concept of Goddess Kali seems to be quite ignorant and distorted, describing it as a 'sinister cult'.

Audrey, who was born in Kolkata comes from an Army background. Her father was part of the British Raj. Her schooling was in India before she returned with her family to England.

The novel, already released in Britain, is set in the mid-19th century when the East India Company and the British Empire ruled India. It is the love story between a beautiful woman and a charismatic man whose destinies are linked with what Audrey refers to as 'the engima that was British India.'

The author explains: "It has always been an enigma that a small island people, 10,000 miles away, with no specific master plan and with an army of only 250,000, came to govern a nation of 150 million people in less than a century and retained that power for so long."

The book is set against the social world of the British Raj, the opulence and intrigue of an Indian ruler's court, the "blood feud of a sinister cult of the Goddess Kali" and the unrest among Indians that resulted in the mutiny of 1857.

Western filmmakers have, in the past dealt with the 'cult' of Kali, portraying it, incorrectly as something sinister and dark.

First Published: Dec 24, 2003 21:35 IST