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Jhabvala, Ruth Prawer

india british novel polish

(Polish/British, 1927– )

Well-known for her collaboration with James Ivory on many of the scripts of the Merchant–Ivory films, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is also a prolific novelist. She was the daughter of Polish-Jewish parents, born in Germany, brought up in Britain, lived in India for twenty-four years and moved to America in 1975. Her novels about India (which include Esmond in India, 1958, and A New Dominion, 1973) mainly deal with the themes of sexual, racial, and cultural identity. Her most famous novel, Heat and Dust, won the Booker Prize in 1975, and was turned into a film in 1983. This short but highly readable novel plots the story of two very different (British) women, separated by over fifty years, and their experiences of India, during British Rule and after.

Paul Scott, Anita Desai, E. M. Forster  SB

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