Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

“(1927-2013) British novelist and short-story writer. Born in Germany of Polish and German-Jewish parents, Jhabvala lived in England for twelve years before marrying an Indian architect and moving to New Delhi, where she remained until she moved to New York in 1976. Her subject is India, which she views as both an insider and an outsider, and with increasing distress at the poverty and misery surrounding her own comfortable life. She is concerned with social mores and psychological power struggles and psychological power struggles, and employs wit, nuance, and evocative descriptive detail. Her first novels, To Whom She Will (1955; U.S. Amrita, 1956), The Nature of Passion (1956), and Esmond in India (1957), deal with Indian arranged marriages and an East-West alliance. She has written a number of screenplays. Her later novels, such as Heat and Dust (1975), later made into a successful movie, show the influence of cinematic techniques. She has also published several volumes of short stories. In Search of Love and Beauty (1983) is a novel about German emigres in 1930s New York. Poet and Dancer (1993) is a novel.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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