In this expansive story collection, acclaimed writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala continues her lifelong meditation on East and West. Set in India, England, and New York City, "A Lovesong for India" reveals what unites us across oceans, cultures, and lifetimes. In "Innocence," an older couple, whose social standing is marred from a decades-old scandal, ...Read MoreIn this expansive story collection, acclaimed writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala continues her lifelong meditation on East and West. Set in India, England, and New York City, "A Lovesong for India" reveals what unites us across oceans, cultures, and lifetimes. In "Innocence," an older couple, whose social standing is marred from a decades-old scandal, rent out rooms in their Delhi home for both companionship and income. Isolated and battling blame and guilt, the couple becomes deeply invested in the lives of their two tenants. With the addition of a third renter--a beautiful and provocative woman from India--tensions in the household push the story to its feverish conclusion. The story "Talent" finds Jhabvala in New York City reflecting on the friction between family and societal expectations. Magda is a talent scout whose entire life is her work until she meets Ellie, a singer whose immense ability and unguarded personality captivate Magda. Soon Ellie is integrated into Magda's extended family for better or worse. Remarkable and unwavering, this collection is the hallmark of Jhabvala's celebrated career and a testament to her "balance, subtlety, wry humor, and beauty" --"The New York Times."Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-12-19 There's a cinematic quality to many of these short stories, not surprising given Jhabvala's illustrious film career: she has written more than 20 screenplays for Merchant-Ivory films and won Academy Awards for A Room with a View and Howards End. In "Bombay," young Munni escapes an unwanted arranged marriage and flees to the U.S., where she meets and marries the son of a famous Indian film actor. The couple returns to the ancestral home of the aging celebrity, who takes a particular interest in his son's new bride. The opulent setting and plot twists are noteworthy, but eclipse the characters. Other stories, set in New York and London, echo with a similar resonance; unlikely brushes with fame or fortune create intriguing situations, but Jhabvala fails to fill out characters. In "The New Messiah," orphaned siblings Rita and Kris (short for Krishna) meet a filmmaker in London, who is struggling after a string of flops, and follow him to New York so that Rita can assist him. It's Kris, however, who becomes the apple of the man's eye, apparently inspiring everyone in his wake as well as an elaborate new film. Though the story builds around Kris's magnetism, accounts of his appearance, idiosyncrasies, or appeal remain absent. Jhabvala's exquisite sensibilities promise a more satisfying engagement. Agent: Debbie Gill, Maia Publishing Services. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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