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Titre : East into Upper East. [Signed].
Éditeur : Washington D.C.: Counterpoint Press
Date d'édition : 1998
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat du livre : Fine
Etat de la jaquette : Fine
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : 1st Edition
First edition. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. SIGNED BY RUTH JHABVALA on the title page. N° de réf. du libraire 0129
Synopsis : Hailed as one of the best books of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times, this group of twelve short stories was written over the past twenty years. From the steamy streets of New Delhi to New Yorks tony Upper East Side, Jhabvalas characters grapple with the universal quandaries of the human experiencejealousy, passion, temptation, and deceptiontruths of life and love that follow no matter where we wander. This collection features new short fiction from Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Booker Prizewinning author of Heat and Dust and Academy Awardwinning screenwriter of Howards End and A Room With a View . Written over the past twenty years, these engrossing stories are domestic tapestries, threaded with the emotional lives and complex psychologies of intense lovers, quarreling married couples, weary elders, and their restless adult children. Whether languishing inside their shuttered New Delhi homes or hosting dinner parties in the overfurnished apartments of their Manhattan high-rises, Jhabvalas characters grapple with the universal quandaries of the human experience--jealousy, passion, temptation, deception--and truths of life and love that follow no matter where we wander. Written over twenty years and featuring settings that range from the crowded bazaars of India to New Yorks Upper East Side, this magnificent collection brings together fourteen new stories by a writer of unparalleled grace, insight, and emotional power. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, well-known for her Merchant-Ivory screenplays and her Booker Prize-winning novel Heat and Dust, claims unique territory in her short fiction, occupying the cusp between two worlds, India and the West. She expertly mingles the two in subject matter, perspective, and style to offer stories of universal appeal.Whether languishing inside their shuttered New Delhi homes or hosting dinner parties in their baroque Manhattan apartments, Jhabvalas characters are men and women of sensual passions and worldly ambition. They confront loneliness and neglect, struggle for independence in a world of manners and manipulations, and adjust to both welcome and unwelcome guests who stay too long and change their hosts lives in devastating ways. Hers are stories of elegance and exquisite delicacy, weaving complex domestic tapestries that range over entire lives. A proper Indian gentleman tries to help his wayward younger brother. A grand hostess on the eve of Indias independence uses her power for personal and political ends. A frail New York socialite tries to understand her daughters alternative life. And a circle of emotionally empty, upperclass New Yorkers adopts an old Indian woman as their spiritual guide.To read these stories is to succumb to the power of a true master--a writer who spans two worlds and who uses this singular perspective to illuminate hidden truths. The sensuousness of India, the neuroses of New York--both are portrayed vividly in these powerful narratives and marvelous entertainments.
Critique: The "East" of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's East into Upper East refers to India's sprawling metropolis, New Delhi; the "Upper East," not surprisingly, is that other big city, New York. In this short-story collection, Jhabvala explores the nature of love on two continents. The first tales take place in India. In "Expiation," the narrator, an affluent cloth broker, must deal with a much beloved but mentally unstable younger brother. Many years of closing his eyes to the evidence of his brother's delinquency eventually puts the entire family at risk. In "Farid and Farida," a marriage that had soured when transported from India to London reanimates in an unconventional way when the two estranged spouses meet again years later under a Banyan tree in India. Jhabvala moves from the six stories set on the subcontinent to New York with "The Temptress," in which an Indian holy woman is literally imported to the States by a wealthy American. From there, the author delves into the lives of Manhattanites. In "Fidelity," for example, Dave, his wife, Sophie, and his sister, Betsy, live in a symbiotic relationship stronger than betrayal, disappointment, and even death.
The subtitle of Jhabvala's collection is Plain Tales from New York and New Delhi, and plain they are--if by that you mean stories that are straightforward in the telling. This is not to say, however, that they are not subtle. Jhabvala's characters are multifaceted and the situations in which they find themselves complex. In East into Upper East she proves once again that a complicated story can be plainly told, yet resonate all the more powerfully for its simple elegance and economy. --Margaret Prior
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