To reach a port, we must set sail.

Sail, not tie at anchor.

Sail, not drift.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt


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Seeking literary representation

“The Yale Chronicles” is a rigorously researched, fact-based historical fiction novel set in 1650-1720s that tracks Elihu Yale across three continents through tumultuous times and travels across dangerous seas. Elihu achieves his extraordinary ambitions for power, wealth and love in Madras, amidst world-class textile traders and diamond merchants, skilfully maneuvering intrigues with Mughal Emperors and competing Dutch and French East India Companies.

Yale struggles to re-assimilate himself in London and Wales that have grown strangely unfamiliar when he returns from Madras in 1699: an older, immensely wealthy “nabob”. His is the stunning story of a passionate lover, a ruthless governor, a prodigious letter-writer, and a caring father for many offspring – some legitimate, some questionable, and several god-children. Elihu is severely disappointed to lose his sons in his lifetime, and finds himself without an heir to his name and his enormous wealth. At the very last moment, Yale overcomes this distressing limitation in an astonishing turn of events, enabling him to leave a legacy that will last forever in the land of his birth.

Yale’s legacy is an enduring dedication to the cause of education, conceived in the minds of early American puritan fathers; an impossible dream breathlessly realized through textiles woven in distant lands and diamonds discovered in Golconda – every strand and sparkle a memory of the men and women who unwittingly contributed their mite to the mighty cause. “The Yale Chronicles” is a splendid tapestry of colorful lands, religious zeal, human drives, strong women and brave men: in all their glory, flaws and frailties.

Meet the author

Rathna Prasad was born in Madras at a time when strict traditions still ruled the roost, especially for girls. Taking cues from her mother that education was the best escape into worlds that could only be imagined, Rathna completed high school with honors at the age of thirteen and chose to pursue a career in the very male-oriented field of Mechanical Engineering, becoming the first woman to graduate with a Master’s degree in Internal Combustion Engineering from the renowned Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Rathna believes that education opens doors for women, like nothing else can. She moved to the United States with her husband and young son for a career in designing nuclear power plants in a Chicago firm. Heady with the array of opportunities available for the taking, Rathna worked full time and attended night school towards advanced degrees, while raising a family of four boys. Rathna has Masters degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA from Wharton.

During the latter part of her career, Rathna spearheaded multiple initiatives in diversity, highlighting the needs of professional women of color. Rathna is currently pursuing a lifelong passion for writing. She hopes to weave exciting stories from the wealth of her experience – as a professional woman who worked in a traditionally man’s field; as a wife and a mother who attempted to balance the pursuit of educational, social and family obligations; and as an immigrant woman who ventured to span different countries and cultures, trying to retain and meld the best of both. Her first novel, though, will be historical fiction that spans life across three continents, over three centuries ago, with India at her peak, England eager to spread her wings, and America weaving grand dreams for the future.

Rathna runs AKOS Health Systems, a software company focused on healthcare, with branches in USA and India. She resides with her husband in Kinnelon, New Jersey, and distributes time between writing and provoking/enjoying challenging discussions with her sons – two of them physicians, one a PhD from Brown University and the youngest, an MBA from Yale.