SHASHI THAROOR is the bestselling author of eighteen books, both fiction and non-fiction, besides being a noted critic and columnist. His books include the path-breaking satire, The Great Indian Novel (1989), the classic India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997), the bestselling An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India, for which he won the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2016, for Books (Non-Fiction), and most recently, The Paradoxical Prime Minister: Narendra Modi and His India. He was a former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. He is a three-time member of the Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram and chairs Parliament's External Affairs committee. He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was honoured as New Age Politician of the Year (2010) by NDTV. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India's highest honour for overseas Indians. He was given the Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.