Ruth Prawer Jhabvala skilfully weaves two parallel stories set in India, one in the present and the other in the days of British rule.

In 1920s India, Olivia - a beautiful, spoiled and deeply bored English colonial wife - is drawn inexorably to a minor Indian prince. Eventually she outrages the tiny, suffocating town where her husband is a civil servant when she elopes with the captivating Nawab. This is also the story of Olivia’s step-granddaughter who, 50 years later, is drawn to India by her fascination with the letters left behind by the now dead woman, and by her obsession with solving the enigma of Olivia’s scandal.

The Booker Prize 1975
Published by
John Murray
Publication date
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

About the Author

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born in Cologne, Germany. She wrote 12 novels, including the Booker Prize-winning Heat and Dust.
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