Praise for Empress

Ruby Lal’s marvelous account of Empress Nur Jahan’s life is as intriguing, inspiring, and relevant to us today in 21st century America, as it was to her times in 17th century India.
Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
This is an outstanding book, not only incredibly important but also a fabulous piece of writing. Here, India’s greatest Empress is reborn in all her fascinating glory in a luminescent account of her life and times. Ruby Lal has written a classic – one of the best biographies to come out this year and certainly the best ever of Nur Jahan.
Amanda Foreman, author of The World Made by Women
What an extraordinary and detailed account of a remarkable woman – amazing! A very impressive, thorough, poetic, humane work.
Deepa Mehta, filmmaker and screenwriter
An enchanting evocation of the brilliant Mughal empire with a tender tribute to India’s first female leader: lush and sensuous, a jewel box of a book.
Rosalind Miles, author of The Women’s History of the World
The panoramic sweep of this extraordinary feminist history is matched by the exquisite storytelling, that brings the magnificence of the Mughal Court and the intricacies of its statecraft to life.
Namita Gokhale, Writer, Publisher, Founder-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival along with William Dalrymple
With stern adoration and a steady hand, Ruby Lal has boldly recut the crown jewel that was Nur Jahan. Proceeding now by the archive and now on a hunch, she discards the romantic Nur while rescuing countless piquant details of everyday life in Mughal times. In her nimble telling battles and skirmishes, hunt, harem, camp, and picnic come to vivid life even as the central story unpacks its riches. Her exemplary Nur (in pants, with a gun, from a striking miniature of the time) corrects a gender slant and refits the heroine for fresh adventures. Her empress, burnished and reset, product of a lapidary’s patience and address, is a triumph worthy of the original.
Allan Sealy, Novelist