At the End of the Century: The Stories of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

At the End of the Century: The Stories of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

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Overview

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"To read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is to regard the human heart through a magnifying glass." —Claire Luchette, O, The Oprah Magazine

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.

"The stories―all of them elegantly plotted and unsentimental, with an addictive, told-over-tea quality―are largely character studies of people isolated, often tragically, by custom or self-delusion . . . Vivid, unsparing portraits are leavened with the kind of humanizing moments that evoke a total world within their compression." ―Megan O’Grady, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640093249
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 262,969
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Anita Desai


A Loss of Faith

The Widow

A Spiritual Call

Miss Sahib

A Course of English Studies

An Experience of India

Two More under the Indian Sun

Desecration

Expiation

Great Expectations

Two Muses

Menage

A Choice of Heritage

A Lovesong for India

Pagans

At the End of the Century

The Judge's Will

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