Jeet Thayil

BornOctober 13, 1959
Kerala , India
Alma materJesuit schools, Mumbai
Various universities in India and US
OccupationAuthor, Poet ,Musician and Journalist
GenreLiterary Fiction, Poetry, Music, Cultural Exploration, Multidimensional Artistic Expression.
Years active2004–Present
Notable works“Narcopolis” (Novel)
“These Errors Are Correct” (Poetry Collection)
“Gemini” (Poetry Collection)
SpouseShakti Bhatt (M till 2007)

Introduction – About Jeet Thayil

Indian poet, novelist, and musician Jeet Thayil is well-known for his profound literary and aesthetic expressions, which enthral audiences. Thayil, has had a remarkable career spanning a variety of artistic disciplines. His first book, “Narcopolis,” received a great deal of praise for its evocative depiction of Mumbai’s opium dens and its investigation of addiction and interpersonal relationships. Thayil’s poetry shines through in works like “These Errors are Correct” and “English.” Themes of love, spirituality, and urban life are all present in his lyrics, which are renowned for their analytical depth.

In addition to his literary accomplishments, Thayil is a gifted musician who, in the 1990s, co-founded the band Sridhar/Thayil. Jeet Thayil is recognised as a multidimensional artist whose contributions have enhanced India’s cultural landscape thanks to his unmatched ability to combine words and songs.

Education and Early Childhood

Jeet Thayil’s early years were enriched by a multicultural environment and a creatively-inclined family. He was born on October 13, 1959, in Kerala, India, and was raised in an artistic environment thanks to both of his parents, the writer and editor T.J.S. George and the journalist Lily Thayil. His early interest in reading and the arts was sparked by this environment. Thayil completed his schooling at a number of colleges, including Jesuit schools in Bombay (now Mumbai), and then continued studies in political science, the humanities, and literature at universities in both India and the US.

In addition to sharpening his critical thinking, this interdisciplinary education gave him a distinctive viewpoint that he would subsequently apply to his literary and artistic endeavours. His early exposure to other languages, customs, and intellectual pursuits significantly influenced the development of his distinctive voice as a talented poet, novelist, and musician..

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Career as author and Journey of Jeet Thayil

The literary journey of Jeet Thayil weaves together evocative language, introspection, and cultural inquiry. He became a well-known Indian author after publishing his first book, “Narcopolis,” in 2012. He received critical praise and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for this mesmerising depiction of Mumbai’s opium dens, which was interlaced with themes of addiction and human connection.

Equally captivating is Thayil’s talent for poetry, which can be seen in collections like “These Errors are Correct” and “English.” His rhymes offer a special fusion of linguistic beauty and emotional depth as they delve into profound observations on love, spirituality, urban life, and the human condition.

Thayil’s creative endeavours extend beyond writing to include music. His flexibility as a musician was demonstrated in the 1990s when he co-founded the band Sridhar/Thayil.

Thayil’s career is evidence of his aptitude for fusing several artistic mediums. His writings explore the relationship between the self and society, frequently straddling the line between pleasure and suffering, addiction and recovery. Jeet Thayil continues to enrich the world’s literary landscape with his thought-provoking narratives and poetry lyrics, furthering his reputation as a renowned and multidimensional artist. His perspective is singular, influenced by his childhood and education.

Jeet Thayil’s Noteworthy Awards and Accolades

  • DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his debut novel “Narcopolis” (2012)
  • Sahitya Akademi Award for “These Errors are Correct” (2012)
  • Crossword Book Award for Fiction for “Narcopolis” (2012)
  • Sahitya Akademi Award for English for his collection “English” (2013)
  • Named as one of the “Top 20 Indian English Novels by Indians” by The Telegraph for “Narcopolis” (2013)
  • International Dublin Literary Award longlist for “Narcopolis” (2013)
  • Named as one of the “Top 10 Books of 2012” by TIME magazine for “Narcopolis” (2012)
  • Man Booker Prize longlist for “Narcopolis” (2012)
  • Named as one of “25 Living Indian Legends” by Forbes India (2014)
  • Fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (2005)

Personal Life and Interests – Jeet Thayil

Jeet Thayil is passionate about a wide range of artistic and cultural pursuits. His compositions demonstrate his interest in language and melodies. Thayil’s deep love for literature is shown in his thought-provoking novels, poetry verses, and books that explore spirituality, human connection, and addiction. His varied background and education have created his multifaceted vision, which he then puts into his artistic creations.

When Jeet was diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus while living in New York, his life hit a difficult point. Later in 2007, he was once more forced to deal with the premature death of his wife Shakti Bhatt. Thayil’s love for sound expression extends beyond the world of literature, as evidenced by his musical endeavours, which include co-founding the band Sridhar/Thayil. His interest in other cultures includes exploring the spirituality, emotional intricacies, and urban life of India. The delicate strands that bind the human experience together are thoroughly explored in Thayil’s artistic endeavours, which connect with audiences on several levels.

Famous books of Jeet Thayil

Poetry Collections:

  1. “Gemini” (1992)
  2. “Apocalypso” (1997)
  3. “These Errors Are Correct” (2008)


  1. “Narcopolis” (2012)

Poetry Anthologies (Editor):

  1. “60 Indian Poets” (2008)
  2. “The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets” (2008)


  1. “Divine Mirth: Painted Reliefs and Mosaics from Bharhut and Sanchi” (1997)

Aishwarya Gurg

I am an avid reader, content creator and writer and a mother. I am an MBA by profession with 5 years of corporate experience. I have travelled extensively across the nation and abroad, which has given me a wider perspective about life. I believe in equal opportunities and inclusivity. I have lived by the mantra of less judging and more uplifting each other for a better tomorrow.

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