Author: Pankaj Bhan
Publisher: B R Publishing
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8176464937
Ruth Jhabvala’s tryst with India and how it works itself out in her fiction has been a matter of critical concern for long. But barring occasional heretical voices, the established critical canon has always treated her as an adopted daughter of India and her work as part of the Indian-English corpus of writing. Lately, working from the orientalist perspective, critics have started exploring her work as a literary embodiment of post-colonial consciousness. They have also begun discovering post-modernist themes and issues hidden underneath her deceptively simple narrative concerns. This shift of perspective has aroused new interest in Ruth Jhabvala’s fiction.
The present work is the first full-length study of Ruth Jhabvala’s image of India as embodied in her entire body of fiction. It analyses Ruth Jhabvalav’s oeuvre from her first novel To Whom She will to the last one to date Shards of Memory and traces her image of India as embodied in these novels. The image, as it turns out, has been quite objective and sympathetic in the first of Ruth Jhabvala’s romantic tryst with India. But with each succeeding novel, it gets more and more negatively reaches its crescendo in Heat and Dust, Ruth Jhabvala’s tour de force in many respects. In her recent phase of fiction writing emanating from New York, where she is presently settled, India has ceased to be a palpably visible protagonist but continues to impinge on her consciousness as a brooding metaphor.
Though essentially a work of literary criticism, Ruth Jhabvala’s India should be of interest to students of sociology, indology, politics, in fact to all those interested in exploring India and what it stands for.