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Description - Out of India by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of 1986, this volume of stories, selected by the author from her own early work, represents the essence of her Indian experience. Bearing Jhabvalas hallmark of balance, subtlety, wry humor, and beauty, these stories present characters that prove to be as vulnerable to the contradictions and oppressions of the human heart as to those of India itself.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781582430522
ISBN-10: 1582430527
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 143mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Counterpoint
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publish Date: 23-Dec-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Out of India by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

US Kirkus Review » From one of our Freest contemporary writers, a collection of 15 short stories personally selected by the author (all of which appeared in her four previous collections, now out of print). Jhabvala (not Indian herself) says in her Introduction: "India reacts very strongly on people. Some loathe it, some love it, most do both." That dichotomy is apparent thoughout this warm, quick, lively collection - in story after story, the plight of the Indians herein described is leavened by the author's almost sensuous love of the country. In "My First Marriage," a young woman describes falling in love with a charlatan, a kind of traveling holy man and bigamist, who finally leaves her, but not before pulling her mind out of a middle-class existence focusing mainly on tennis and tea parties. In the much darker (but still comic) "The Interview," a sensitive young man desperately in need of a job to support his wife and family finally has a chance at a civil-service position, but is so terrified at the interview that he bolts the room. And, in a story which moves beyond the boundaries of India (and is perhaps the best in the collection, "How I Became A Holy Mother"), a model falls in with a charismatic guru after leaving the fast track in London. Strong, deeply moving stories about a country and its people. As Kirkus wrote about Jhavbala's 1964 collection, Like Birds, Like Fishes: "No eye is keener, no ear more closely attuned to this universe, recreated in all its color. . .with a love compounded by irony." (Kirkus Reviews)

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