In Search of Amrit

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Livia Manera Sambuy unearths the details of the mysterious life of Princess Amrit Kaur-her disappearance from India, her persecution by the Nazis, and her search for freedom

On a sweltering day in 2007, Italian writer Livia Manera Sambuy encounters a photograph of Princess Amrit Kaur in a Mumbai museum. The picture is arresting, gorgeous - but the caption will change Livia's life forever. It claims that the Punjabi princess sold her jewels in occupied Paris to save Jewish lives, only to be arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp where she died within a year.

It's a sensational story - and for Livia, the beginning of a compulsive search for the truth as she delves into the history of the British Raj, the diamonds and sapphires of the twentieth-century aristocracy, and the lives of extraordinary figures- bankers, jewellers, explorers and spies. Past and present converge when Livia travels to meet Bubbles, the princess's daughter, now in her eighties. Striving to reconnect Bubbles with the elusive woman who abandoned her in 1933, Livia unearths a strange and complicated family history; one that diverges unexpectedly from the story that she set out to uncover.

Filled with glamour and terror, beauty and sorrow, In Search of Amrit Kaur is an engrossing detective story, a kaleidoscopic history lesson, and a moving portrait of mothers, lovers and daughters across the century, seeking personal freedom.

About the Authors

Livia Manera Sambuy is an Italian writer whose book of profiles of American writers, Non Scrivere Di Me, was published in 2015. She is also the author and co-director of two documentary films on Philip Roth. She has been a staff writer at the literary pages of the Italian national daily Corriere della Sera for over twenty years. She lives in Paris.

Todd Portnowitz is the translator of The Greatest Invention; Long Live Latin; and Go Tell It to the Emperor- The Selected Poems of Pierluigi Cappello, for which he was awarded a Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.