Zemindar, a novel of adventure and romance set against the backdrop of a troubled 1850s India, won the Historical Novel Prize in Memory of Georgette Heyer as an unpublished manuscript and was published by The Bodley Head shortly thereafter. When I was pulling together a list of the prize's winners in 2010, I wrote that it was a "prime candidate for reissue." Zemindar, the author's only novel, was based on her grandmother's experiences during the Sepoy Mutiny.
Csardas, named after a traditional Hungarian folk dance, tells the story of two aristocratic Hungarian sisters whose lives and fortunes change dramatically during the two world wars. Pearson, who has been writing since 1967, was president of the UK's Romantic Novelists Association for 25 years.
Both Zemindar and Csardas were reissued by the UK publisher Head of Zeus in trade paperback in 2014. Check out the gorgeous new packaging! My copy of the 1985 mass market paperback of Zemindar (which is in great condition but has teeny tiny print) stands in the background.
I'm looking forward to reading them both and would welcome the thoughts of anyone who's already read them. At the moment, American readers will have to order them from elsewhere, but I'll update you if there's more news on that score. I'll provide some links here because there are multiple out of print editions on bookseller sites, which can make it hard to find the new ones. Here are the UK buying options for Zemindar and Csardas on Head of Zeus's page (both are £15.00). At other sites, such as Chapters.ca and Amazon.ca, I recommend searching by ISBN to find the right ones: 9781781857519 (Csardas), or 9781781859544 (Zemindar).
All of the books in the pic above were personal purchases.
Valerie Fitzgerald, who's in her 80s and living in Ottawa, recently gave an interview with the Ottawa Citizen in celebration of the re-release, speaking about her childhood in India, her writing career, and her thoughts looking back on Zemindar 34 years later.
Since I'd written about Zemindar previously on the blog, her grandson's wife recently got in touch to tell me about the new edition, the newspaper interview, and another interview that Valerie Fitzgerald would be doing with CBC Radio. That interview aired yesterday afternoon and is available at the CBC site. It's 13 minutes long, and I found it completely fascinating to hear her discuss her life, the background to the book, some fun stories about the industry, and why she never wrote another novel. I highly recommend taking the time to listen to it.