Patrick French, a historian, writer, and critic, has died. He was a Brilliant Writer and Exceptional Humanitarian. Keep reading this article to know how he died and what was Patrick French cause of death.
What happened to Patrick French?
Novelist William Dalrymple tweets the news of the demise of historian and author Patrick French.
“I was heartbroken to learn of Patrick French’s passing. Patrick and I met when we were both thirteen years old, and he served as the Best Man at my wedding. He was pleasant, witty, and full of excitement and energy. Also, he was our generation’s best biographer, according to Dalrymple.
Ramachandra Guha, a historian, and author tweeted the news and wrote,
“Deeply heartbroken to hear of Patrick French’s passing. He was a fantastic author whose works on VS Naipaul and Francis Younghusband are considered modern biographical writing classics. Additionally, he was a wonderful person who was consistently kind to friends and strangers.
Patrick French cause of death
The literary, scholarly, and media worlds have all paid tribute to the French. Patrick French, a renowned public intellectual, award-winning biographer, and historian who was most recognized for his celebrated writings on India died as a result of complications from cancer. A short while ago, the novelist, who had been ill, passed away on Thursday at the age of 56.
Patrick was married to Meru Gokhale, the author Namita Gokhale’s daughter and former editor-in-chief of Penguin Random House India.
Patrick French, a historian, and writer from Britain passed away in London on Thursday after a four-year battle with cancer, his family announced.
French, best known for his biography of VS Naipaul, “The World Is What It Is”, and “India: A Portrait”, died at 8 am (London time), his wife Meru Gokhale said.
“At 8.10 am this morning my beloved husband Patrick French passed away in London after a brave battle with cancer. He was much exceptional father, friend, husband, teacher, and mentor. His kindness and love will stay with us forever. He went in peace, without suffering,” Gokhale, former publisher at the Penguin Press Group, said.
Quick summary of Patrick French’s life
Patrick French was a British author, professor, and historian who lived from 1966 until March 2023. He completed his education at the University of Edinburgh, where he majored in South Asian Studies and studied English and American literature.
In July 2017, he was chosen to serve as the first Dean of Ahmedabad University’s School of Arts and Sciences. Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, a biography of Francis Younghusband, The World Is What It Is, an authorized biography of Nobel Prize winner V. S. Naipaul, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States of America, and India: A Portrait is just a few of French’s works (2011).
French ran for Parliament as a Green Party candidate in the 1992 general election. He was a founding participant in the intergovernmental India-UK Round Table and has served on the executive committee of Free Tibet, a Tibet Support Organisation in the UK.
Noble Prize and Recognition
V. S. Naipaul’s official biography, The World Is What It Is, which won the Nobel Prize, was released in 2008. French is credited for creating the “confessional biography,” according to Ian Buruma in the New York Review of Books.
The book was chosen as one of the “10 Best novels of 2008” by The New York Times Book Review editors. The World Is What It Is received the American National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008 and was also nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize. In 2009, French also received the Hawthornden Award for the book.
India: A Portrait, a book by Patrick that is marketed as “an intimate biography of 1.2 billion people,” was published in 2011. The book tells the story of how India is being transformed by social and economic revolutions.
He also launched The India Site, a website with a focus on India, in conjunction with the publication of the book. The official Doris Lessing biography is now being written by Patrick.
The capacity of the French to dive into intricate and frequently contentious topics, such as the effects of the British Empire in India and the life of Nobel Prize–winning novelist V.S. Naipaul, earned him a great deal of respect. He was renowned for his meticulous study, clear prose, and understanding yet critical eye.
Tributes to Patrick French
Tributes to the French poured in from the literary world. Historian and author William Dalrymple tweeted, “Heart-broken to hear about the death of Patrick French, who I have loved and admired since we were both thirteen, and who was the Best Man at my wedding. He was funny & clever & charming, and always full of enthusiasm & energy. He was also the greatest biographer of our generation..”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was among the first to offer 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 4-year-old son Krishna. We have lost an outstanding writer & fine human being. RIP”
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