Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Oliver Craske (Author)


The definitive biography of Ravi Shankar, one of the most influential musicians and composers of the twentieth century, told with the cooperation of his estate, family, and friendsFor over eight decades, Ravi Shankar was India's greatest cultural ambassador. He was a groundbreaking performer and composer of Indian classical music, who brought the music and rich culture of India to the world's leading concert halls and festivals, charting the map for those who followed in his footsteps. Renowned for playing Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and the Concert for Bangladesh-and for teaching George Harrison of The Beatles how to play the sitar-Shankar reshaped the musical landscape of the 1960s across pop, jazz, and classical music, and composed unforgettable scores for movies like Pather Panchali and Gandhi. In Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar, writer Oliver Craske presents readers with the first full portrait of this legendary figure, revealing the personal and professional story of a musician who influenced-and continues to influence-countless artists. Craske paints a vivid picture of a captivating, restless workaholic-from his lonely and traumatic childhood in Varanasi to his youthful stardom in his brother's dance troupe, from his intensive study of the sitar to his revival of India's national music scene. Shankar's musical influence spread across both genres and generations, and he developed close friendships with John Coltrane, Philip Glass, Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison, and Benjamin Britten, among many others. For ninety-two years, Shankar lived an endlessly colorful and creative life, a life defined by musical, emotional, and spiritual quests-and his legacy lives on. Benefiting from unprecedented access to Shankar's archives, and drawing on new interviews with over 130 subjects-including his second wife and both of his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar- Indian Sun gives readers unparalleled insight into a man who transformed modern music as we know it today.

Product Details

$32.00  $29.44
Hachette Books
Publish Date
April 07, 2020
5.9 X 2.3 X 9.1 inches | 2.05 pounds

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About the Author

OLIVER CRASKE is a writer, editor, and the author of Rock Faces: The World's Top Rock'n'Roll Photographers and Their Greatest Images. He first met Shankar in 1994, worked with him on his autobiography (Raga Mala, 1997), and was encouraged by him to write his full story after his death. He lives in London.


"The definitive biography of the Maestro, told with the cooperation of his estate, family, and friends. Rigorously researched and lovingly presented, Oliver Craske offers a detailed and compelling account of the life of Ravi Shankar and the worlds he touched through his music and personal journey."--East Meets West Music
'...[A]n intimate, expert reading of Shankar's music, as well as revelatory access to create the definitive portrait of his context within modern culture."--The Guardian
"A master receives masterly treatment... an outstanding, forensic and deeply sympathetic biography..."--The Arts Desk
"[A] superlative biography... [A] masterly chronicle of a life teeming with all-too-human incident but heavenly inspiration."--London Times
"...Craske handles the niceties of Shankar's personal life with diplomacy while staying focused on his subject's musical mission and lifelong hunger for spiritual fulfilment. He wears his expertise lightly and his passion on his sleeve: a winning combination for a definitive work."--The Observer