At the End of the Century: The Stories of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Hardcover)
Multilayered, subtle, insightful short stories from the inimitable Booker Prize-winning author, with an introduction by Anita Desai Nobody has written so powerfully of the relationship between and within India and the Western middle classes than Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. In this selection of stories, chosen by her surviving family, her ability to tenderly and humorously view the situations faced by three (sometimes interacting) cultures--European, post-Independence Indian, and American--is never more acute. In "A Course of English Studies," a young woman arrives at Oxford from India and struggles to adapt, not only to the sad, stoic object of her infatuation, but also to a country that seems so resistant to passion and color. In the wrenching "Expiation," the blind, unconditional love of a cloth shop owner for his wastrel younger brother exposes the tragic beauty and foolishness of human compassion and faith. The wry and triumphant "Pagans" brings us middle-aged sisters Brigitte and Frankie in Los Angeles, who discover a youthful sexuality in the company of the languid and handsome young Indian, Shoki. This collection also includes Jhabvala's last story, "The Judge's Will," which appeared in The New Yorker in 2013 after her death. The profound inner experience of both men and women is at the center of Jhabvala's writing: she rivals Jane Austen with her impeccable powers of observation. With an introduction by her friend, the writer Anita Desai, At the End of the Century celebrates a writer's astonishing lifetime gift for language, and leaves us with no doubt of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's unique place in modern literature.
About the Author
RUTH PRAWER JHABVALA, born in 1927, wrote several novels and short stories, and in collaboration with James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, she won two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay (for Howards End and A Room with a View). She won the Booker Prize in 1975 for Heat and Dust. She died in 2013. ANITA DESAI was born in 1937 in Mussoorie, India. Her novels include Fire on the Mountain--which won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize--Clear Light of Day, In Custody, and Fasting, Feasting, each of which was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Her latest novel is The Artist of Disappearance.