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Heat and Dust

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

ON SALE: September 11, 2018 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 190 Pages | ISBN 9781619029149
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"[Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's] tussle with India is one of the richest treats of contemporary literature."  —The Guardian

The Booker Prize-winning novel—intertwining the narratives of two women, past and present, and their relationships to India—from the novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Partly set in colonial India during the 1920s, 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 an important English civil 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 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 death.

RUTH PRAWER JHABVALA is author of twenty books. She was the recipient of Booker Prize, a MacArthur fellowship, and has been honored with an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Jhabvala’s screenplays for Merchant-Ivory Productions earned two Academy Awards. She passed away in 2013.

Praise

Praise for Heat and Dust:

“A superb book. A complex story line, handled with dazzling assurance… moving and profound. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has not only written a love story, she has also exposed the soul and nerve ends of a fascinating and compelling country. This is a book of cool, controlled brilliance. It is a jewel to be treasured.” —The Times

“Her tussle with India is one of the richest treats of contemporary literature.” —The Guardian

“A writer of genius … a writer of world class — a master storyteller.” —Sunday Times

“Heat and Dust is an obscure and somber novel, tense with undisclosed judgments and meanings that crouch and whisper just beyond one’s reach.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Crafted with technical skill as assured as it is unobtrusive, this delicately written novel is, because of its setting and its theme of Anglo-Indian relationships, reminiscent of E.M. Forster’s great novel, A Passage to India. It does not suffer by comparison.” —The Washington Post

“A penetrating and compassionate love story, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has exposed the soul and nerve ends of a fascinating and compelling country … This is a book of cool, controlled brilliance. It is a jewel to be treasured.” —The London Times

Praise for Out of India:

“…There is not a shoddy line or unnecessary word here; the book has the hallmark of balance, subtlety, humor and beauty.” —The New York Times Book Review

“In plain, unassuming prose that doesn’t altogether conceal the tears and laughter that give it urgency, the story of many different Indias unfolds in these 15 tales… All the stories, unrelated but focusing on the search for a quiet center that justifies disjointed and woebegone lives, are woven together in a glowing tapestry enriched by profound knowledge, humor and compassion.” —Publishers Weekly

“The writing is brilliant. The reader feels the excitement of seamlessly knitted images that grow, one out of another, into a woven cloth of world.” —The Village Voice

“[A] collection of rare and exotic quality.” —Boston Herald

“These stories do not demystify India; they pay the place tributes of empathy and grace.” —Time Magazine

“Erotic, languorous tales, beautiful, haunting, finely crafted and memorably described.” —The Dallas Morning News

“These stories are well-crafted and poignant. The characters become, to use a Jhabvala image, lighted candles burning in the windows of the world.” —The Seattle Times

“An allusiveness, a susceptibility to mood, a tenderness to which Chekhov was the exemplar.” —V. S. Pritchett, author of Lasting Impressions

“Marvellous… Each story perfectly constructed and complete.” —Jane Gardam, author of Last Friends

“Brutally honest, these stories cut straight to the heart of the matter.” —The Good Book Guide

“Seductive… Intelligent and frank… Jhabvala’s troubled fragments provide consolation, not in art, but in the understanding that differences between continents and cultures cannot deny the common core of human yearnings” —Times Literary Supplement

“The best of Jhabvala’s ‘Indian’ novels deserve a revival. In the meantime, her short fictions, along with Heat And Dust, are a fine introduction to the work of an unusual and gifted writer.” —The Telegraph

 

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