review Heat and Dust 103

characters Heat and Dust

Il servant Longing for passion and independence Olivia is drawn into the spell of the Nawab a minor Indian prince deeply involved in gang raids and criminal plots She is intrigued by the Nawab's charm and aggressive courtship and soon begins to spend most of her days in. An elouent and beautifully poised novella comparing and contrasting the experiences of two English women in India The unnamed narrator travels to India to investigate and tell the story of her father s first wife a bored housewife who has an affair with a local prince Their two stories are alternated and have many parallels as well as contrasts between colonial and independent India It is easy to see why this book won the Booker prize

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Heat and Dust

A profound and powerful novel winner of the Booker PrizeSet in colonial India during the s Heat and Dust tells the story of Olivia a beautiful woman suffocated by the propriety and social constraints of her position as the wife of Heat and PDF or an important English civ. 1 Western writers on British India seem a bit obsessed with sex between English women and Indian men There was A Passage to India by Forster in 1924 the plot turns round a charge of rape of an English woman by an Indian man Then The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott in 1966 another charge of rape of an English woman by an Indian man Then Heat and Dust in 1975 which gives us the shocking tale of an English woman who elopes with an Indian man 2 The first sentence of the blurb says The beautiful spoiled and bored Olivia married to a civil servant outrages society in the tiny suffocating town of Satipur by eloping with an Indian princeThe actual elopement does not happen until page 171 out of 181 I think that blurb writer should be fired 3 This novel is another of those very melancholy drooping meandering uiet humble softly despairing everything under the surface not really a plot at all books like Hotel Du Lac and Staying On and The Remains of the Day They can be brilliant Remains of the Day is really great but sometimes you want to light a jumping jack under their arses Heat and Dust was just eurghhhhhhh4 1975 must have been a dire year if this won the Booker Prize

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala é 3 read

His company But then she becomes pregnant and unsure of the child's paternity she is faced with a wrenching dilemma Her reaction to the crisis humiliates her husband and outrages the British community breeding a scandal that lives in collective memory long after her deat. It took less than a day to read this 180 pages long and easy to read but it s a rich and fruitful book It comprises two stories in parallel the tale of Olivia who abandons her British husband when she goes to India and of her un named relative who goes to Satipur some fifty years later to solve the mystery of what became of Olivia She ends up becoming seduced by India tooOlivia is naive but adventurous and she doesn t like the other British wives and their disdain for Indian religion and culture She is bored by their vapid lifestyle and she outrages society by visiting the local Naweb an impoverished rogue in league with the Dacoits bandits The Naweb seems to exert a strange magnetic influence on those around him including Harry Olivia s only discerning friend and the one who helps her out when things go awry In the process of discovering these scandals about her great aunt the narrator finds herself following in some of her footsteps However whereas during the British Raj Olivia was isolated from the real India by class caste and custom whatever her wishes may have been in post independence India her successor lives amongst Indians and can make different decisions about how to live her life Once again India is depicted as a place that attracts those interested in its spirituality but the dropout Chid s distaste for life as a mendicant shows just how silly it is for affluent outsiders to hanker for a life of poverty and hardship The title shows that Jhabvala had no illusions about the reality of life for most Indians I finished reading and journalled this book on 131005Cross posted at The Complete Booker


10 thoughts on “Heat and Dust

  1. says:

    Fascinating book about the contradictions between and at the same time love of Indian and English culture The beautiful spoiled and bored Olivia married to a civil servant living in India shocks society in the tiny suffocating hot

  2. says:

    35 starsWinner of the Booker Prize in 1975; this is actually uite good Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is an interesting character; her parents fled the Nazis in the late 1930s and she lost many family members in the Holocaust She lived initial

  3. says:

    1 Western writers on British India seem a bit obsessed with sex between English women and Indian men There was A Passage to India b

  4. says:

    An elouent and beautifully poised novella comparing and contrasting the experiences of two English women in India The unnamed narrator travels to India to investigate and tell the story of her father's first wife a bored housewife who has an affair with a local prince Their two stories are alternated and have many parallels as well as contrasts between colonial and independent India It is easy to see why this book won the Booker prize

  5. says:

    This short novel tells the story of two women in two different era's First there is the spoiled and unhappy Oliva in 1923 colonial India who outrages society by having an affair with the local Nawab Olivia's husband Douglas divorces her and remarries In the 1970's his granddaughter arrives in India to revisit the places her family once lived and to try to discover the truth about the scandal that surrounded her grandf

  6. says:

    25 An only just postcolonial novel about the British in India by an author who described herself as a Central European with an English education and a deplorable tendency to constant self analysis and who was married to an

  7. says:

    35 starsThis was my first trial in reading Mrs Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's novel due to my disappointment with Ms Arundhati Roy's latest one entitled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Knopf 2017 in which I could not go on around page 30 even though I had immensely enjoyed reading her The God of Small Things Fourth Estate 2009 For our be

  8. says:

    I’d been looking forward to reading this book not least because Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote the screenplays for wonderful films such as A Room With A View and Howards End and a personal favourite of mine The Remains of the Day I’m

  9. says:

    It took less than a day to read this 180 pages long and easy to read but it's a rich and fruitful book It comprises two stories in parallel the tale of Olivia who abandons her British husband when she goes to India; and of her un named relative who goes to Satipur some fifty years later to solve the mystery of what became of Olivia She ends up becoming 'seduced' by India tooOlivia is naive but adventurous an

  10. says:

    The opening of this book tells that Olivia finds her way to the Nawab a minor Indian Prince leaving her husband I have had a string of reading lately where there is marital trouble and I wasn't exactly in the mood for anoth

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