Jane Gardam

The World as an Indian Sees it from Umbria

Diamond Dust

By

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Anita Desai follows her Booker Prize shortlisted novel Fasting, Feasting with these nine wise and entertaining stories. She thanks the Civitella Ranieri Foundation for providing her with a generous summer in Umbria to complete them, and it is nice to think of her seated in an American writers’ haven, in a citadel near Umbertide, writing about India, England, Canada and Mexico. Sometimes in the stories the cultures touch and meet, overlap and merge. Sometimes the Indian stories take over what we have tended to think of as English themes – the reunion of Oxford graduates thirty years on; the struggle of a girl from a bourgeois country background to leave home and work on a magazine in the city; the passion of a nice family man for the family dog: old favourites, but more piquant and intense and somehow sharper with Indians in the leading roles.

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