New Delhi: Celebrated author Dan Brown, who will deliver this year's Penguin Annual Lecture here and in Mumbai next month, says he is excited about his India visit.
"I visited India when I was 18 years old and became captivated by the people's warmth and the mystical beauty of the landscapes. I have always dreamed of returning to India and am very excited to do so now," he says.
Brown will deliver the eighth Penguin Annual Lecture here on November 10 and in Mumbai on November 12 and will speak on codes, science and religion.
This is the first time that the lecture is being organised in two cities.
Says Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO of Penguin Random House India, "Dan Brown is a global phenomenon - with 'The Da Vinci Code' and his other immensely popular books, he has been singlehandedly responsible for getting a whole new generation of readers around the world interested in books, travel, symbols, history and art.
"We are privileged to publish his books at Penguin Random House and it is a real honour for us to have him with us in India. We're looking forward to a truly memorable lecture in both Delhi and Mumbai."
Regarded as one of the most prestigious cultural events of the year, the annual lecture series has been featuring some of the world's most respected leaders, thinkers and writers.
It is the first annual lecture to be organised by a publishing house in India.
The seven previous lectures have been delivered by journalist and writer Thomas Friedman in 2007, diplomat and writer Chris Patten in 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in 2009, historian Ramachandra Guha in 2010, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in 2011, former President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2012 and megastar Amitabh Bachchan last year.
Brown has authored novels like "Angels & Demons", "The Lost Symbol", "Inferno", "Digital Fortress" and "Deception Point" besides "The Da Vinci Code", which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars.
His novels are published in 52 languages around the world with 200 million copies in print.
In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine, whose editors credited him with "keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise."
The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing.
Brown is currently at work on a new book as well as the Columbia Pictures film version of his most recent novel, "The Lost Symbol".