India Knight

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Biographical Information


Whilst posted in Brussels for the Economist, Andrew Knight met Sabiha Rumani Malik who was to become his second wife [1]. Malik’s daughter Giselle Aertsenes (the future author who subsequently changed her name by deed poll to India Knight) then became Knight’s stepdaughter. India recalls her mother coming back from lunch at the Ritz one day and saying ‘Look!’ and showing her an engagement ring, and saying they were moving to London. [2]. The family subsequently moved to Islington [3].

In 1991 Knight and Sabiha Malik divorced. Malik then married Knight’s friend, the architect Norman Foster. She reportedly banned Foster’s staff from dunking biscuits in their tea and drew up a list of who was entitled to call her husband by his Christian name [4].

After their divorce, Malik and Knight were subsequently not on speaking terms at least as of 2000, but Knight’s stepdaughter India remains on good terms with him - he took her on a family holiday to Mustique some time before 2000. However, in her novel, which seems to be semi-autobiographical, there is a poignant scene where the stepfather talks of his ‘first grandson’, ignoring the main character’s two sons. [5]

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Publications, Contact, Resources and Notes






  1. Who's Who, A & C Black, January 2007
  2. Lynn Barber, ‘India’s Summer’, Observer, 2 July 2000
  3. Harriet Lane, ‘Something of the Knight’, Observer, 2 November 2003
  4. Lydia Slater, ‘Fostering Talent’, Evening Standard, 12 March 2004
  5. Lynn Barber, ‘India’s Summer’, Observer, 2 July 2000