Mussoorie / New Delhi: A new book by beloved writer Ruskin Bond will shed light on his lesser known life before he became a successful author, publishers Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India, announced on Friday.
The illustrated book — "A Song of India", scheduled to hit the stands on July 20, will mark the 70th year of Bond''s literary career.
Set in the year 1951, the book takes the reader back to Bond''s last year in Dehradun, before he set sail for England to write and "chase his calling". It was also the year that later became the basis for his first novel, "The Room on the Roof" (1956).
In "A Song of India", the fourth instalment in his memoir series after "Looking for the Rainbow" (2017), "Till the Clouds Roll By" (2017) and "Coming Round the Mountain" (2019), Bond tells the story of his 16-year-old self and how he was struggling to begin his writing journey.
After he finished school in Shimla, Bond''s mother sent him to stay with his aunt in England for "better prospects" in 1951. It was there that he started writing his first book, "The Room on the Roof", while doing odd jobs at a grocery store and later a photo studio.
After getting an advance of 50 pounds for the book, he managed to come back to Dehradun in 1957, where he wrote short stories to earn a living, before moving to Mussoorie in 1963.
The book sees Bond recalling his stay in England, where he longed for a sense of familiarity. He also talks about experiencing little joys like receiving his first money order, publishing his stories and finding new friends.
"''A Song of India'' marks 70 years of my long writing career, which began when I was 16. In these seven decades, I have written hundreds of stories for children and just as many for adults too, and I am still continuing to do so.
The 86-year-old author added that living in the mountains helped him get inspired by the world around him, which often reflected in his writings.
"I have had the privilege of working with Mr Bond for over a decade on his children''s books. As he completes 70 years of his rich and prolific writing journey this year, we are so delighted to be celebrating this special milestone with the publication of a book that talks about how it all began," Sohini Mitra, Publisher - Children''s, Penguin Random House India said. PTI