Publication Date: 12/01/2023 ISBN: 9781784741198 Category:

In Search of Amrit Kaur

Livia Manera Sambuy, Todd Portnowitz

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 12/01/2023 ISBN: 9781784741198 Category:




‘Remarkable and compelling. I loved this book’ EDMUND DE WAAL
‘An exemplary sleuth, both astute and open-minded . . . Manera Sambuy writes with impassioned style and insight’ TELEGRAPH

A lost princess and a vanished world: a remarkable true story that moves from the Punjab of the Raj to 1930s Paris and the cataclysm of the Second World War

On a sweltering day in 2007, Italian writer Livia Manera Sambuy encounters a photograph of Princess Amrit Kaur in a Mumbai museum. The picture is arresting, gorgeous – but the caption will change Livia’s life forever. It claims that the Punjabi princess sold her jewels in occupied Paris to save Jewish lives, only to be arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp where she died within a year.

It’s a sensational story – and for Livia, the beginning of a compulsive search for the truth as she delves into the history of the British Raj, the diamonds and sapphires of the twentieth-century aristocracy, and the lives of extraordinary figures: bankers, jewellers, explorers and spies. Past and present converge when Livia travels to meet Bubbles, the princess’s daughter, now in her eighties. Striving to reconnect Bubbles with the elusive woman who abandoned her in 1933, Livia unearths a strange and complicated family history; one that diverges unexpectedly from the story that she set out to uncover.

Filled with glamour and terror, beauty and sorrow, In Search of Amrit Kaur is an engrossing detective story, a kaleidoscopic history lesson, and a moving portrait of mothers, lovers and daughters across the century, seeking personal freedom.

Publisher Review

Livia Manera is a wonderful detective-companion to lead us through this rich and complex world of princesses and prisoners of war, love and deceit, secrets and discovery... a thoroughly engaging read -- Kamila Shamsie, author of HOME FIRE Nuanced but relentlessly curious, Livia Manera Sambuy has a gift not only for listening to other people's stories but for probing and unfolding exceptional narratives. In Search of Amrit Kaur - an ambitious, absorbing work that peels back the layers of its enigmatic subject and digs deeply into the author's own emotional vicissitudes - is her crowning jewel -- Jhumpa Lahiri, author of WHEREABOUTS An intimate and engrossing portrait of an extraordinary woman by a writer whose sense of story and place is perfect in every way -- John Zubrzycki, author of THE HOUSE OF JAIPUR Part personal odyssey, part history, part detective story, In Search of Amrit Kaur is a vivid and intriguing account of the quest - spanning three continents - to uncover the story of a tragic Indian princess -- Katie Hickman, author of SHE-MERCHANTS, BUCCANEERS AND GENTLEWOMEN A remarkable book about an extraordinary woman... impossible to put down. It offers a rare window into a vanished and exotic world -- Rudrangshu Mukherjee, author of NEHRU & BOSE

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