The similarity between the world of Indian mythology and the more surreal borderlands of sci-fi has been noted by more than a few authors. Some nonfiction writers, such as Nick Redfern, see this as evidence of early visitation of the Earth by extra-terrestrial beings while humankind was in its infancy. Others, starting with Roger Zelazny and L Ron Hubbard, have delved into Indian myths while looking for inspiration for their science-fiction stories.
The connection has certainly not been lost on Westland Books, an Indian publisher that specialises in contemporary sci-fi/mythology crossovers, as well as self-help and crime thrillers.
Westland has an interesting history in its own right. Founded in 1962 as EastWest Books, the company was a distribution company for over 25 years before its first foray into the world of publishing in 1988. From 1990, EastWest started to pioneer a unique fusion of Indian sci-fi with an imprint featuring writers such as Esther David, Mahesh Dattani and Paul Zachariah. Its rollcall of authors reveal the international focus of the company; committed to exporting quality English-language fiction by Indian writers to the wider world, and involving Western authors in writing authentically Indian fiction for the domestic market.
At the same time an imprint was set up dealing with translations and native Indian language publications – all the while continuing in its traditional role as distributor. The 2005 merger of EastWest books with Westland books created the business we know today, becoming India’s second largest trade book distributor overnight.
Westland Meets Amazon
From 2009 Westland’s publishing divisions became so successful in mainstream Indian literature that the distribution arm was wound up. 2012 saw the publication of Agent Vinod: The Jungfrau Encounter, a bestselling novel in India and the company’s largest grossing publication to date. The protagonist Agent Vinod comes across as an Indian James Bond meets Jason Bourne – operating in a claustrophobic world of government conspiracies, occult secret societies and clandestine technologies. The ascent of Westland into the global mainstream was completed in 2017 when it was purchased by Amazon.
Books For Our Times
Westland-Amazon now publishes under several distinct imprints. These include a wide range of mythic/historical fiction novels, sci-fi action thrillers and a broad selection of non-fiction topics. The Westland Books for our times imprint features biographies of historic figures, political satire and gritty crime-noir novels, all by Indian authors and with a distinctly Indian character.
Westland Publications Via Motilal Books
At Motilal Books we are honoured to stock the full Westland back catalogue and to add new titles whenever they are published throughout the year. Call us on 01727 761677 to find out more. To discover the benefits of stocking English-language Indian books, please click here to download our Independent Booksellers Guide To Books From India today.