Manu S Pillai is the author of the award-winning The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore (HarperCollins India, 2015), Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji (Juggernaut, 2018), and most recently The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin: Tales from Indian History (Context, 2019).
Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, he has in the past worked at the House of Lords in Britain, with Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, and with the BBC on their Incarnations history series, assisting Dr Sunil Khilnani. Written over six years and researched in three continents, Manu’s first book, The Ivory Throne won the 2016 Tata Prize for best first work of non-fiction and the 2017 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar. Manu is also text contributor to Serena Chopra’s Bhutan Echoes (Tasveer, 2016), and for three years wrote a weekly column for Mint Lounge. His other writings have appeared in The Hindu, Open Magazine, the Times of India, Hindustan Times, The New Statesman, and other publications.
Manu is an alumnus of Fergusson College, Pune, and is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at King’s College London.