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Award-winning author Patrick French passes away, Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor mourn demise

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London | March 17, 2023 5:34:53 AM IST
Renowned author and historian Patrick French, known for his award-winning 2008 title "The World is What It Is: Authorised biography on VS Naipaul," died in London on Thursday.

The award-winning author died after battling cancer, British-based several media reported.

Condoling his death, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took his Facebook account and posted a picture of French with a post saying, "Saddened to learn about the demise of Patrick French - noted writer, historian, and above all, a wonderful human being."

"His deep understanding of Indian culture and history is reflected in his insightful writing. His passing is a tremendous loss to the literary community. I offer my deepest condolences to Meru Gokhale ji and the bereaved family," he added.

Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, "Profoundly saddened by the news of the passing of @PatrickFrench today. Have just spoken with his mother-in-law @NamitaGokhale_ to express my condolences. My heart goes out to @MeruGokhale and their 4year old son Krishna. We have lost an outstanding writer & fine human being. RIP."

Also a prolific author and historian in his own right, Tharoor recalled the moment when he and French shared the stage at the Times Litfest. He said, "My last public event with him was this delightful conversation at the Times LitFest before Covid. Though he looked forbiddingly serious (as in this pic), he had a delightful sense of humour. The cliche "witty and wise" could have been devised for him... Om Shanti."

Several authors from across the globe mourned his death on social media platforms.

Historian-author William Dalrymple said in a tweet, "Heartbroken to hear about the death of Patrick French, who I have loved and admired since we were both thirteen, and who was the Best Man at my wedding. He was funny & clever & charming, always full of enthusiasm & energy. He was also the greatest biographer of our generation."

"Love & strength to @MeruGokhale and his four wonderful kids on this saddest of days," he added with broken heart emoji.

Among his most prominent works was 'The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul, and 'India: A Portrait', which came out in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, "Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Patrick French. He was a wonderful writer, whose books on Francis Younghusband and VS Naipaul are classics of modern biographical writing. He was also a very fine human being, unfailingly generous to friends and strangers alike." (ANI)

 
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