David Godwin

Renowned Indian novelist and poet Vikram Seth has been asked to return an advance payment of $1.7 million (£1.1 million) to his publisher, according to reports.

Seth’s agent David Godwin is quoted in the Mumbai Mirror as suggesting that the award-winning writer is in negotiations to establish a new deadline by which to produce a manuscript for a sequel to his 1993 novel A Suitable Boy. “It would be unfair to say the deal has been called off,” Godwin was quoted as saying ahead of talks in London.

Pearson, the British media conglomerate, said Thursday that it was in talks to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann of Germany.

The deal, if completed, would bring together two of the biggest book publishers in the world, uniting Penguin and its iconic orange logo with the owner of Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday. The combination would create a division with greater scale that could compete in a rapidly evolving e-book market.

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