My Nine Lives: Chapters of a Possible Past

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Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004 - Fiction - 277 pages
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For her first novel in more than nine years, in a career of distinctive and unique accomplishments, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has written a most unusual book. My Nine Lives is, ?Chapters of a Possible Past,” as the subtitle declares. It is, as the author has commented, a book filled with ?invented memories.” Nine vignettes?autobiographical fictions?are linked to portray a rich life, filled with searching, from London to Delhi, from Hollywood to New York. Each chapter gathers a different cast of characters, some new and some vaguely familiar, and the linked assembly is as exciting and illuminating as an artist's first show at a Chelsea gallery or a new play at the Studio Theater. After seventeen books, now in her seventy-seventh year, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala takes on as her subject herself, the life she may have or may have wished to live. My Nine Lives is a moving and intriguing book of invention and memory.

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MY NINE LIVES: Chapters of a Possible Past

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Jhabvala (Shards of Memory, 1995, etc.) describes a life she could have lived but didn't.Backgrounded by the question What if?, each of the nine chapters here is a variant on Jhabvala's actual life ... Read full review

My nine lives: chapters of a possible past

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In her 18th book, the first in nine years, award-winning screenwriter Jhabvala (e.g., A Room with a View, The Remains of the Day) offers an unusual take on autobiographical fiction, turning the lens ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born in Cologne, Germany on May 7, 1927. She had to emigrate to England in 1939 with her family because of their Jewish faith. She earned a degree in English literature at London University. In 1951, she married an Indian architect, moved to India and raised three daughters. She began writing in 1955 and has written a dozen novels. Several novels were set in India such as The Nature of Passion, Esmond in India, Travelers and The Householder, which was also her first motion picture project. Shakespeare Wallah was her first collaboration on an original project. She also wrote screenplays such as Roseland and Jefferson in Paris. Her other fiction works included In Search of Love and Beauty, Three Continents, Poet and Dancer, Shards of Memory, East into Upper East and My Nine Lives: Chapters of a Possible Past. She won numerous awards including Britain's Booker Prize for her novel Heat and Dust in 1975, the BAFTA award for Best Screenplay for the filmed adaptation of Heat and Dust in 1984, an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for A Room With a View in 1986, the Best Screenplay Award from the New York Film Critics Circle for Mr. & Mrs. Bridge in 1990, an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Howards, the MacArthur Foundation Award in 1984 and the Writers Guild of America's Screen Laurel Award in 1994. She died on April 3, 2013 at the age of 85.

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