Mumbai: Mother-daughter collaborations in literature occupy a very special place. There are mothers and daughters who have co-authored books. There are mothers who wrote first, and their daughters followed in their footsteps.
However, instances when the daughter is the first to publish a book, followed by the mother, are extremely rare.
One known example is author Ann Patchett who wrote her first book The Patron Saint of Liars in 1992- She was 29. She inspired her mother, Julie Ray, to write Julie and Romeo at the age of 62, in the year 2000.
India may now have the unique distinction of having the worlds’ youngest daughter1st, mother 2nd author duo. At 15 and 42 respectively, Neeha and Reeta Gupta are the youngest such pair, where the daughter authored a book first, followed by the mother, within seven months of each other.
Neeha Gupta published her first novel ‘Different’ in Dec 2017 at the age of 15. Launched by ex-SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, Neeha was invited to personally give a copy of her book to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
Neeha donated all her sales proceeds to the Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation.
Her mother Reeta Gupta published at the age of 42. ‘Rescript Your Life-Awaken the voice within you’, by Rupa Publications, was received at UNESCO, Geneva in June 2018, seven months after her daughter’s book launched. Indian icon Kapil Dev has the cover testimonial in Reeta Gupta’s book.
“There is a set of mother-daughter authors who have co-authored books”, says Sonal Gandhi, buying head of Crossword Bookstores. “In 2003, 8 year old Isabel Young and her 44-year-old mother Louisa co-wrote Lionboy, under the pen name Zizou Corder. In 2012, mother Jodi Picoult aged 46 and her 16 year old daughter Samantha co-wrote the novel Between the Lines. However, I have not heard of a younger daughter 1st, mother 2nd pair, than Neeha and Reeta Gupta.”
Sonal Gandhi has been in the book trade since 1995. She joined Crossword Bookstores in 2001 and has come up the ladder from being a customer service associate to a buyer and now buying ahead for books.
“A mother can be your best friend, your biggest supporter, your toughest critic and your sounding board. My style is completely different from my moms, but I think we contribute to each other immensely as critics,” added Neeha.
The most prolific mother-daughter pair in the world has to be mother Mary Higgins Clark, who published her first short story in 1956 at the age of 29, also the year of her daughter Carol Higgins Clark’s birth.
India too has mother-daughter author duos like the very revered Anita and Kiran Desai and Anupama and Zuni Chopra. However, in all these cases, the mother wrote first. (ANI)