Diamond dust: and other stories

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Chatto & Windus, 2000 - History - 207 pages
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Whole lives come into focus in this rich and diverse collection, as Desai shines her luminous spotlight on private universes from India to Canada and New England, from Cornwall to Mexico. Her protagonists set forth on journeys and find themselves suddenly beyond the pale, or surprisingly back where they started. Caught up in cycles of hope and disappointment, their lives are ruled by the seasons, at the mercy of heat and dust, or straightjacketed by the conventions of hospitality, friendship and family. In the title story, a beloved dog, black as Satan, brings nothing but disaster. In another, a businessman away from home sees his own death. Elsewhere, old relationships stir up buried resentments, issues demand commitment, or escape. And in the final masterpiece, one of Delhi's girls of slender means finds a kind of joy and freedom in a strange rooftop community. Desai writes beautifully, with humour and delicacy, charm and compassion, about ordinary lives in a disconcerting world.

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Royalty I
Diamond Dust a Tragedy

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About the author (2000)

Anita Desai was born in Mussoorie, India, in 1937 of Indian and German parentage. Her works focus on relationships and family life in India, particularly the problems of women in Indian society. She has written for both adults and children, winning the Winifred Holtby Prize from the Royal Society of Literature for Fire on the Mountain (1977) and the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction for her novel The Village by the Sea (1982). Among her numerous other honors is a Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library in 1993. Desai came to America in 1987 and has been a professor of English at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley Massachusetts since 1988.

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