Patrick French was born in England in 1966 and studied literature at Edinburgh University. He is the author of Younghusband, Liberty or Death and Tibet, Tibet, and is a winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. The World Is What It Is, an acclaimed biography of VS Naipaul, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hawthornden Prize. India: A Portrait, was published in 2011. In it, he gives us an encompassing social, political and economic history of India from partition to the present day. He delves into Indian society and politics and he travels the country’s regions speaking to everyone from the nation’s political leadership to Maoist revolutionaries and mafia dons, from chained quarry workers to self-made billionaire entrepreneurs and technological innovators. It’s an intimate biography of 1.2 billion people.