Dan Brown Lecture Transcription
Rajdeep: Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to the annual penguin India lecture. Exclusively here on Headlines Today, being delivered by one of the world controversial and most compelling authors, he’s one of the highest selling authors in the world. His book the Da Vinci Code has sold more than 220 million copies and counting. We are delighted here to welcome for the first time in India Dan Brown.
Dan Brown: Wow! Thank You. Thank You very very much. Wow what a nice welcome, what a terrific welcome. I’m thrilled to be here. I was in India when I was 19 years old and it take me so long and I am thrilled to be here now.
I should tell you that the welcome I have received here is been so generous and so warm. I just, I feel in a strange way, like I have come home, it took about 30 years. I would to thank few people before we start the entire team at Penguin Random House India, all the you’ve done for my books here in India, my Indian readership, the invitation to come over, which I am very glad that I accepted. I also like to send out a big thank you to Indian Today Group for partnering tonight’s lecture and making it possible. So I so don’t speak publicly very often but as I said I visited India many years ago and when I was waiting for the right excuse to come back and I figured tonight was it so here I am, I couldn’t be happier.
Tonight in some ways it’s a celebration of written word so I thought I should mention that both of my parents were authors, published writers and so writing has always been an important part of my life. When I was 5 years old my mom helped me write and publish my first book. I dictated it she transcribed, we did a print run of one copy. It has a cardboard cover in a two hole punch binding with yarn and I still have this book. I actually brought it all the way across the ocean to show it to yow. I have it here tonight. Here it is (showing the book to audience). I don’t know if you can see the title of this book, “The Giraffe, the pig and the pants on fire”, obviously it’s a thriller, clearly and for the next half hour I just thought I would do a dramatic reading from this book. I am kidding, I will not subject you to the draft pick of the pants on fire tonight.
On the day I finished the little book I was hooked, I wrote non-stop in elementary school, high school, University and I feel very fortunate to be able to continue writing to this day. Now as you may know but some other novels I write tend to have a thematic material that some have found controversial or slightly upsetting. Almost daily in my life someone will come up to me and they will ask what happened to you as child, did some Christian priest you dropped on your head at your baptism or may be God refused to answer some childhood prayer and what is it with this battle between science and religion. And I will politely respond that science and religion have been doing battle since the days of Galileo and the Vatican. To this day science and religion both strive to be that infallible source from which we draw our truth. Unfortunately I grew up to the son of a church organist and a mathematics professor, so I was confused right from the start and I don’t mean to imply that, that’s changed.