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Penguin celebrates 35 years in India

The season’s festivities continue for the leading publishing house in the country as it celebrates a milestone anniversary. Penguin Random House India turns 35 this year. This marks 35 years of publishing some of the most iconic books in Indian literature, discovering some of the most brilliant authors from India and the South Asia region and becoming one of the most loved publishers among readers.

Commenting on the anniversary, Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO, Penguin Random House India & SEA, says, ‘When you see India’s literary history, 35 may not seem like such a grand milestone. But it is indeed a proud moment for Penguin to have been able to succeed in adding value to a country as diverse and multicultural as ours. We launched in India in 1987 with just six titles. By 2022, we have grown our local publishing list to over 3000 and brought in over 50,000 international titles for our local readers. Over the years, we have introduced many award-winning books, discovered and published some of the greatest writers of our times, and more recently, our books have made global headlines with the Booker International Prize win and the Booker Prize for Fiction nomination. This is indeed a privilege that our readers have extended to us, inspiring us to do better and do more.’

Kicking off the celebrations for this landmark occasion, Penguin is proud to launch a special campaign- #BookedByPenguin: A wordplay that captures Penguin’s impact on the literary and publishing world. From the books to the authors published, from the talent in the company to the readers who love our brand, #BookedByPenguin invites anyone and everyone ever connected to Penguin to join us as we come live on all our platforms in the form of engaging content, contests, and giveaways from October 10 onwards. The integrated campaign also has online and offline legs going to all parts of the country. Retail chains and independent bookstores have come on board too to celebrate this milestone anniversary. #BookedByPenguin also launches special partnerships that will spread the joy of reading. In collaboration with Books on the Delhi Metro (BODM), a non-profit initiative, we will make metro rides even more exciting where people will find books at unsuspecting locations in the metro and have the chance to pay it forward too. So, look out for hints and tips on social media for a chance to get your hands on a Penguin book.

Commemorating these eventful three and a half decades in the country, Penguin is also excited to announce the release of an exclusive anniversary edition series of some of the most iconic books published over these years. An eclectic catalogue is made up of 35 books, all of which have had a lasting effect on our bookshelves and our literary landscape. From literary fiction, romance, thrillers, narrative non-fiction, business, history, and minority voices, this new collector’s edition series is going to have something for everyone. With attractive new looks and covers, these books will be available across bookstores in the country and online from November onwards. Along with the collector’s editions, the readers will also have a chance to take home exclusive Penguin anniversary mementoes available at bookstores in the country to giveaway with the collector’s editions. Find the list of books in the exclusive anniversary collectors edition in Annexure 1.

Penguin is also committed to giving back to the community by donating 10,000 books through our different partners that serve and help the disadvantaged. The Community Library Project is helping take our books to first-generation readers and those who do not have easy access to books. This is in line with our vision to promote the habit of reading among the people of our country.

Penguin was established in India in 1985 and began printing in 1987. Random House launched in India with its publishing programme in 2005 and distribution operations in 2009. Penguin Random House is a result of a merger in 2013 when the two global publishing houses came together and became one of the most prominent English trade publishers and grew to be one of the most recognized names in the industry.

Over time, in India and subcontinent regions, it has become home to some of the greatest writers of our times, including Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Sudha Murty, Ruskin Bond, Khushwant Singh, Former President of India, Late APJ Abdul Kalam, Ramchandra Guha, Satyajit Ray, Jhumpa Lahiri, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Salman Rushdie, to name a few. Many have gone on to win virtually every major literary prize, including the Nobel Prize, the Booker Prize, the Magsaysay Award, and the Jnanpith Award. Our authors have also been recipients of the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest civilian honours.

In addition to taking Indian literature to the world, Penguin has also been bringing global literature to the Indian subcontinent and South Asia ever since. Over the years, we have presented over one and a half lakh titles from world-renowned publishers such as Faber, Canongate, Fitzcaraldo Editions, Walker Books, Ingram, Harvard Business Review, Columbia University Press, Princeton University Press, and many more, along with books published by our group companies in USA and UK. In India, our international portfolio comprises works by Nobel Laureates, Booker Prize winners, and bestselling authors such as the former President of the USA, Barack Obama, the former First Lady of the USA, Michelle Obama, Dan Brown, Yuval Noah Harari, Jeff Kinney, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl, Margaret Atwood, Harper Lee, Stephen Hawking, Elif Shafak, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami and the latest Nobel Prize awardee, Annie Ernaux.

In 2018, Penguin also opened its publishing operations in South East Asia with the launch of Penguin Random House SEA (PRH SEA) which is in line with our commitment to champion local publishing in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, in these few short years, PRH SEA has swiftly risen to prominence as a platform for literary voices across English-language adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction categories from Singapore and Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). Its books have gone on to win accolades and awards, such as The Singapore Book Awards, and it has re-introduced South East Asian classics back to mainstream literature with first-time English language translations.