An Author’s Afternoon presented by Shree Cement on 28th November, 2013 featured Sudha Shah at Taj Bengal, Kolkata. The event organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with Siyahi featured a young writer Devapriya Roy in conversation with Sudha Shah.
Sudha wrote her first book The King in Exile: The Fall of the Royal Family of Burma inspired by Amitav Ghosh’s novel The Glass Palace based on the royal family of Burma.The writer had no background of History in fact she had studied economics and was a stockbroker but finding out about the last king of Burma became her mission and it took her seven years and umpteen trips to England, Burma and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra where the royal family had stayed during exile. In fact, she was so consumed by the need to write that she chose Ratnagiri over Paris to spend her birthday.
Sudha confessed that she had led a ‘schizophrenic existence’ when she was writing the book. The deposed ruler King Thibaw, his wife Queen Supayalat and their four daughters lived in Ratnagiri between 1885 and 1919. She also admitted that now that she taken to writing this is what she wants to do. However, she did not disclose on her next project that was already in her mind but she said this book would not take as long as her first book.
Her book was shortlisted for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2012 and for the Tata Literature Live First Book Award 2012. The book is being translated in Burmese, Thai and Marathi languages.