Award-winning British author, historian and academic Patrick French, best known for his biography of VS Naipaul, “The World Is What It Is”, and “India: A Portrait”, died in London on Thursday after a four-year battle with cancer.
He was 57. French, who was inaugural dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in 2017 and also held a visiting position at Ashoka University, died in the morning, his mother-in-law and Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) co-founder Namita Gokhale told PTI.
“It was so sudden. We all are so heartbroken. The death took place in London. He had been suffering from cancer for the past four years,” Gokhale said.
French is survived by his wife Meru Gokhale, former publisher at the Penguin Press Group, and four children.
Senior Congress leader and acclaimed author, Shashi Tharoor tweeted his condolences
Profoundly saddened by the news of the passing of @PatrickFrench today. Have just spoken with his mother-in-law @NamitaGokhale_ to express my condolences. My heart goes out to @MeruGokhale and their 4year old son Krishna. We have lost an outstanding writer & fine human being. RIP
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 16, 2023