Polite Society (Hardcover)

Pre-Order Now Badge
Polite Society Cover Image
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


"So funny, smart, sophisticated, and captivating, you just want to spend your whole life with it."--Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians

In this modern reimagining of Jane Austen's Emma, Delhi's polite society is often anything but polite.

Beautiful, clever, and more than a little bored, Ania Khurana has Delhi wrapped around her finger. Having successfully found love for her spinster aunt, she sets her sights on Dimple: her newest, sweetest, and most helpless friend.

But when her aunt's handsome nephew arrives from America, the social tides in Delhi begin to shift. Surrounded by old money and new; relentless currents of gossip; and an unforgettable cast of socialites, journalists, gurus, and heirs, Ania discovers that her good intentions are no match for the whims and intrigues of Delhi's high society--or for her own complicated feelings toward her cherished childhood friend, Dev.

Pairing razor-sharp observation and social comedy with moments of true tenderness, this delicious whirl through the mansions of India's dazzling elite celebrates that there's no one route to perfect happiness.

About the Author

Mahesh Rao is the author of the award-winning novel The Smoke Is Rising and a book of short stories One Point Two Billion, both published in the UK to wonderful reviews. He was born and brought up in Nairobi, has worked in the UK as a lawyer, researcher and bookseller, and currently lives most of the year in India. Polite Society is his American debut.

Praise For…

"Is it possible to marry a book? Because Polite Society is so funny, smart, sophisticated, and captivating, you just want to spend your whole life with it. It was love at first sight from the very first page and I never wanted it to end.” - Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians

“With biting wit, this send-up of high society deflates social strata while bringing tenderness and romance to its comedy of manners.” Esquire

“Clever, rich-in-insight, and with a discomfiting wit and impeccable prose, Polite Society uncovers some of the best blessings of Austen. Dear reader, this book is delicious!”—Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World

“The pace and breezy style, along with sometimes broad but always entertaining characters, will keep readers enchanted.” Booklist

“Witty, smart, compelling.” —Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
“The only way to write an Austentatious novel.” —Financial Times
“Rao has a great eye for absurd detail and a sensitive ear for what’s not said.” —Mohammed Hanif, author of Red Birds
“A bitingly funny version of Austen’s Emma. . . . Could have been titled Crazy Rich Indians.”—South China Morning Post
“Introspective on the struggles of the elite, what a tightrope walk society life can be, and the cutthroat nature of having money. It’s a story filled with great wit and romance, but there is also intrigue and conflict, both internal and between characters. With his American debut, Rao pulls back the shining facade so easily constructed by money to deliver a real-life drama.” —Paperback Paris

“A deep and utter treat: a sly, witty Delhi reinvention of Emma. Rao writes like Vikram Seth’s naughty younger brother and I want to have cocktails and gossip with him at once.” –Patrick Gale, author of Take Nothing With You

“An unputdownable jewel of a novel by a writer of astonishing talent.” —Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing
“Navigates the sparkle and sordidness of Delhi’s high society with wit and acuity.” —Mint (India)
“High comedy with a dark edge; and a genuinely well-adapted Jane Austen novel.”—Hindustan Times (India)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525539940
ISBN-10: 0525539948
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: August 20th, 2019
Pages: 368