Thomas Bell's: maiden book on Kathmandu

Bookworm Issue 154 Sep, 2014

Journalist Thomas Bell, who writes about Nepal for the Economist and other publications, has written a book on Kathmandu in the same name.

Bell, who came to Nepal in 2002 to cover the Maoist insurgency and later the peace process, says the book is more of a work of journalism than his personal account. “Some people have called the book a biography of the city,” says Bell, who comes from New Castle in the UK.

“I would describe the book as ‘everything about Kathmandu between two covers’,” says the Briton, who has been in Nepal for 12 years.

Bell came up with the idea of writing a book on Kathmandu when he was in Bangkok from 2007-09 reporting for the Daily Telegraph newspaper. “When I was in Bangkok, I missed Kathmandu, where I had lived for five years, and decided to write about the city. The book developed quite organically,” says bell talking about his first book.

He says the book is not just targeted at foreigners who do not know anything about Nepal. “I do start the story from zero so that anyone who doesn’t know Kathmandu can follow along. But I do hope that people who already know about Nepal find something new and interesting in the book,” he says.

Bell’s main motivation to write a book on Kathmandu was to give people something to talk about the city. “I hope that people find a lot of things to talk about in the book, to start a conversation,” he says.

Random House, India is the publisher of the book, which was launched in the first week of September.