Nayanika Mahtani once harboured dreams of becoming a stage actor, but she followed the proverbial left side of her brain to do an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore – and became an investment banker instead. A decade later, she followed her heart to live in Africa. She is now an award-winning author and screenwriter, based in London.
Nayanika’s books are published by Penguin Random House. With genres ranging from historical fiction to multi-generational family sagas, her books have received critical acclaim, ranked as bestsellers on Amazon and won awards (including the South Asia Book Award).
Nayanika has also co-written the story and screenplay for the film, Shakuntala Devi (a biopic drama), with leading Indian actor Vidya Balan in the titular role. The film released on Amazon Prime Video in July 2020 and ranks amongst Amazon’s ‘Most Watched Hindi Films Worldwide’.
Nayanika’s latest YA novel, Across the Line, is presently in development as a film, for which she has adapted the story for screen. The audiobook version of this story, which is rooted in the Partition of the subcontinent, is narrated by acclaimed Pakistani actor Nadia Jamil, on Audible.
Nayanika is also working on a web series for a leading Indian studio.
Nayanika Mahtani has been a regular speaker at the Jaipur Literature Festival, as well as at various other lit fests in the UK, USA, UAE, India, Pakistan and Bhutan.
Nayanika’s latest YA novel, Across the Line, is presently in development as a film, for which she has adapted the story for screen. The story is told through a unique lens as we see the Partition and its aftermath through the eyes of youngsters in 1947 – and then again, two generations later, through the eyes of two youngsters in the present – underlining how what we value remains much the same – as does what we mindlessly kill for.
Nayanika’s books are published by Penguin Random House. With genres ranging from historical fiction to multi-generational family sagas, her books have received critical acclaim, ranked as bestsellers and won awards (including the prestigious South Asia Book Award).
"This evocative tale of heartache buoyed by hope, travels from 1947 towards the present, tugging at our heartstrings and sweeping us along. A compelling and uplifting story that lingers long after the last page is turned."Vidya Balan
"Across the Line" is a heart-warming book which is a story of struggle, hope and cricket; across timelines and divided by borders. A good message on how what unites us is bigger than what divides us.Sachin Tendulkar
"Get away from the mundane with a return to nature. This heartfelt, captivating tale shall find many readers."Ruskin Bond
"I have campaigned for the tiger across the world, and I am always asked - what can we do to help save tigers? The answer to that lies in Nayanika's book - as Tara and Satya team up to save the lives of a tigress and her cubs. As far as I am concerned, this book should be a part of school reading, so that there is an engagement with conservation at a younger age. I believe that this is a story for all to read."Valmik Thapar
'An irreverent look at one of history's most feared characters. Sure to make kids relook at one of the most dreaded school subjects - history!Sanjeev Sanyal
"PARTITION AND BEYOND: Continuing and unrelenting, the series of events leading to the Partition and beyond, is still unfolding, haunting our imagination with its taste of ash and smoke. From making paper boats to lost homes with mango trees, the young people in this finely crafted story are like friends, but their lives are framed by a dark line drawn by an Englishman in a hurry to wash his hands of everything. Such lines cannot be undone by wishing them away and yet this book lights a candle of hope and peace."Asif Farrukhi
"Nayanika takes us through two different timelines and unveils the entrancing stories of two people across the border. This story is a tribute to all the unsung heroes who have fought silent battles even after the Partition."Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
"I love the voices in this book. They are so familiar- the wry comment-the humour-the unspoken words. The grief. The resilience. I love how the stories are narrated- against a bloodied and scarred background- the everyday conversations are so beautifully written. A much needed book at a time where hatred of the “other” has become endemic in many societies- where leaders talk about walls and not about communities. ."Asma Said Khan