Gita Mehta Dies: Prominent Author And TV Director Was 80

Gita Mehta, whose books transformed Western ideas on India, died today at her home in New Delhi. She was 80.

Nicholas Latimer, a vice president and director of publicity at Knopf, where Ms. Mehta’s husband, Sonny Mehta, was president and editor in chief for many years, said the cause was complications of a stroke.

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Gita Mehta and her husband — who was an influential editor in his time — were international literary stars, frequently appearing in New York, London and India.

In 1979 Mehta published her first book, “Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East,” a mix of anecdotes and commentary on Westerners seeking enlightment in India, often getting ripped off in the process.

She was also the writer/director for the 1971 TV series World in Action, a documentary. In her 20s, she worked on British documentaries while teaching at Bombay University.

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