An extremely fascinating work of art which is compulsively readable and gratifying in a most complete way.
The novel depicts the hard struggle of life in a ;modern city and its demoralization. Ravi , son of a peasant, joins in the general exodus to the city, and, floating through the indifferent streets, lands into the underworld of petty criminals. He falls in love with pretty Nalini, and marries her against all odds. She tries to change his way of life but fate conspires against him . . And the story moves to a memorable and a haunting climax.
From among the handful of Indo-Anglian women novelists, Kamala Markandaya stands out as one of the3 finest and most impassionate writers of fiction. Her greatest asset is her language - virile, vibrant and vigorous - with the right choice and turn of words and expressions. A Handful of Rice certainly makes an absorbing and enjoyable reading. - Sunday Standard
The picture of a joint family with its many psychological stresses and strains is deftly drawn, and so is the picture of the shady underworld. The novel is, in a sense, a saga of the triumph of human spirit over poverty's privations and predicaments. - The Indian PEN
An overwhelmingly real book. It is about those parts of us, as human beings, which are permanent and universal - love, hunger, lust, passion, ambition, sacrifice, death. She is the best writer now writing who generally uses an Indian background. - John Masters