HarperCollins presents ‘Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman’ by Chidanand Rajghatta

NEW DELHI, Nov. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — HarperCollins Publishers India is delighted to announce the publication of ‘Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman’ by Chidanand Rajghatta.

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A story of love and resilience within a narrative that has increasingly become one of division and hate. This is a story of immigration and immigrants and the Indian diaspora’s growing clout in the USA. This is the story of a woman of mixed race, who still rises. This is the story of Kamala.

On a rare occasion, a woman becomes the president on her own steam, she is shown struggling to balance the job and the family – a requirement men are rarely expected to meet. In the 1964 comedy Kisses for My President, Leslie McCloud eventually discovers that she is pregnant and resigns to devote herself full-time to her family. In the 1985 ABC sitcom Hail to the Chief, President Julia Mansfield has to manage her political fortunes while raising her family. In real life, American women have seldom come anywhere near the White House, except as a first lady. Until now. Until Kamala Harris, a presidential candidate in the 2020 election, became the country’s forty-ninth vice president – a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

The election of Kamala Harris as the US vice-president on November 3, 2020, was a long-awaited milestone in US politics, particularly after the rebuff to Hillary Clinton in 2016. That the breakthrough was made by a woman of Indian and Black heritage, both of whose parents were more recent immigrants, was also a repudiation of four years of rampant nativism during the Trump Presidency. Phenomenal Woman has its origins in a profile of Kamala Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a truly remarkable woman, eventually expanding into this book about her feisty daughter and her rise in a political system where the dice is loaded against women and minorities. The fact that Kamala Harris rose to shatter the glass ceiling at a time Donald Trump — the 45th President, all male — exemplified the patriarchy, misogyny, and sexism in US made a compelling case for capturing this unique moment in American history. Writing this — during a pandemic year — caps a 27-year reporting career in America during which I witnessed unprecedented political history — from the election of the country’s first Black President to a New York businessman and braggadocio being pitchforked into the White House, and threatening to return again. Lending a sense of urgency to this book is Kamala herself being a heartbeat away from the presidency. On a personal note, I wrote this book for my mixed-race children and their generation, in the hope that when the latent racism and nativism is beaten back and buried, they will inherit a multi-racial and multi-hued America that will be true to its ideals that are noble, but not fully realized.”

–  Chidanand Rajghatta, Author and Journalist

Kamala Harris epitomises true grit and the zest of the immigrant. The story of her Indian-Jamaican roots and her rise is fascinating, and Chidanand is a delightful teller of it. With Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman, we hope our readers find the inspiration to realize their full potential.”

–  Prema Govindan, Commissioning Editor, HarperCollins India

About the Book

On 20 January 2021, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States of America, making her the first person of Indian descent, and the first woman to reach this position. This was hardly surprising, for Kamala – the daughter of a breast-cancer scientist Indian mother and a Stanford University emeritus professor of economics Jamaican father – has been known to blaze a trail for herself in her chosen fields.

Fun ‘momala’ and aunt at home but hard-nosed, unsparing prosecutor and senator elsewhere, Kamala dons many hats. This biography focuses on the micro-histories that shaped Kamala Harris and celebrates her Asian and Jamaican heritage – with special attention to her India connect – and her barrier-shattering ascent as a woman of colour coming to occupy one of the highest offices in the USA.

Chidanand Rajghatta’s masterful chronicling of Kamala’s life – her rise to candidature, the struggles and triumph in a messy, hard-won election despite coming from a ‘non-traditional’ background – delivers an inspirational story of a phenomenal woman.

About the Author

Chidanand (‘Chidu’) Rajghatta is currently the foreign editor and U.S bureau chief of the Times of India. In an expansive career, Chidanand has often written the first draft of history from the geo-political frontiers of India, the United States, and their engagement with the world.

Chidanand was born and studied in Bangalore, India, and began his journalistic career with the Indian Express in 1981. After stints with Sunday magazine and the Telegraph of Kolkata, he worked at India Today before he became editor of The Sunday Times of India in Delhi. He was the resident editor of the Indian Express in Mumbai when he was sent to Washington, D.C., in 1994 – a posting that has made him one of the longest serving foreign correspondents in the city.

Rajghatta has written two books, including The Horse That Flew: How India’s Silicon Gurus Spread their Wings.

About HarperCollins Publishers India

HarperCollins Publishers India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins Publishers India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award, including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, the New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Prabha Khaitan Woman’s Voice Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins Publishers India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world, including Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins Publishers India is also the only publisher to have been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award three times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016 and 2018.

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