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Penguin Random House to publish filmmaker Onir's memoirs

The book has been co-written by award-winning film editor and screenwriter Irene Dhar Malik, the director's sister.

Our Correspondent

Penguin Random House India has announced the acquisition of the memoirs of award-winning filmmaker Onir.

Co-written with his sister, award-winning film editor, screenwriter and short-story writer Irene Dhar Malik, the book lays bare the struggles and triumphs that moulded him on his path to success.

Onir asserted his sexual identity from the very beginning in a conservative and competitive environment. Offering readers a rare glimpse of his life, the filmmaker writes about his journey from his childhood days in Bhutan to when he was a young man with no connections in the Hindi film industry and later when he faced especially turbulent times. The book also offers exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses into some of his most popular films.
The iconic filmmaker said he was initially a little hesitant about writing his memoir. "But I then realized that there are so many youngsters who message me about being afraid to pursue their dreams, be it about their career choices and beliefs, or about accepting and asserting their identity in terms of gender and sexuality. I hope my journey resonates with some of them and helps them live their dreams," he said.

Talking about the process, Malik says, "It’s been a rather unusual and exciting experience for me to co-write my brother’s memoir, but I was perhaps best suited for the job, having been around since the time Onir was born! We have had fun remembering stories from our childhood, even as we also went over some painful times, tried to put things in perspective, and corrected each other’s memory lapses. Along the way, also came the realization that his has been quite an incredible journey, and I’m glad that we’re documenting it."
Richa Burman, commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India, said Onir’s story is unlike any other in the Hindi film industry. "Through this much-needed memoir, commissioned by Kanishka Gupta of Writer’s Side Literary Agency, Onir’s admirers will get to see up-close the sensitive, thoughtful man behind all the glitter and the glory. Co-written with his accomplished sister, Irene, this book is sure to tug at your heartstrings."

The book will be released in 2022 under the Viking imprint.