Van has finished reading…Heat And Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

7 Sep

Heat and dust  Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


It’s getting on for forty years since Heat and Dust was written. Have attitudes changed so markedly during that time? My impression is that we’re far more accepting (by which I mean repentant) of the frailties and failures of British rule in India. At this great remove we can look back on a machine that took its privilege for granted and shake our heads as though it’s nothing to do with who we are today.

  It’s books like this one that give us our measure. It’s precisely these stories that remind us that it was people who ran the machine, and not the machine that made the people. At least not at first. It’s tales like Heat And Dust that chime in our heads when we meet the modern day Douglases and Olivias, the Nawabs and the Begums.

They remind us that we’ll always be human, and that we’ll always have a story.


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