A frustrated small-town scholar lands the opportunity of a lifetime, but only encounters more frustration in Anita Desai’s touching comic novel.

When Deven is asked to interview India’s greatest Urdu poet, Nur, he sees an opportunity to escape the miseries of his narrow life. But Deven’s hope for fame and fulfilment soon turn to disaster. The dissolute old man he finds deep in the bazaars of Old Delhi bears no resemblance to the idol of his youth, and as Deven is fooled, cheated and bullied by Nur and the people who surround him, the whole project seems destined to end in a new kind of captivity.

The Booker Prize 1984
Published by
William Heinemann
Publication date
Anita Desai

Anita Desai

About the Author

Anita Desai has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times - 1980, 1984 and in 1999. She was born in Mussoorie, India and is the author of many novels and short stories.
More about Anita Desai

Other nominated books by Anita Desai

Fasting, Feasting
Clear Light of Day