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The Booker Prizes Backlist

The Booker Prize 1975

The Winner

Heat and Dust

By Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Published by John Murray

Set in India, Heat and Dust is the story of Olivia, a beautiful, spoiled, bored English colonial wife in the 1920s who is drawn inexorably into the spell of the Nawab, a minor Indian prince deeply involved in plots and intrigues.

Olivia outrages the tiny, suffocating town where her husband is a civil servant by eloping with the captivating Nawab. It is also the story of Olivia’s step-granddaughter who, fifty years later, is drawn to India by her fascination with the letters left behind by the now dead older woman, and by her obsession with solving the enigma of Olivia’s scandal.

The Shortlist

The 1975 Judges

Angus Wilson (Chair)

Peter Ackroyd

Roy Fuller

Susan Hill