Anita Desai

BookAnita Desai

Anita Desai

Writers and Their Work


December 31st, 2005



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The notion of thinking as an outside, and the critical distance which this entails, is a key to an understanding of Desai as writer, and a recurrent theme for the discussions of her novels and short stories in her book. It informs her authorial perspectives on India, its places, scenes, and people, and her creative engagement with those who, through a combination of accident and choice, find themselves marginalised, displaced, and dispossessed. The search for other, alternative, worlds outside of the social and cultural mainstream defines the self-identity of many of Desai’s characters, and underlines their problematic identification with the communities in which they are located. Through detailed discussions of a number of short stories and novels, and references to other works by Indo-English writers, this book shows how Desai maps her ‘India’, and opens up ways of reading ‘India’ for the reader as outsider.