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Out of India: Selected Stories

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of 1986, this volume of stories, selected by the author from her own early work, represents the essence of her Indian experience. Bearing Jhabvala’s hallmark of balance, subtlety, wry humor, and beauty, these stories present characters that prove to be as vulnerable to the contradictions and oppressions of t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 23rd 1999 by Counterpoint (first published 1986)
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Alan
Dec 21, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
an evocative bunch of stories mainly about the ex-pat community in India, although some are from the point of view of Indian characters, rich and poor, guru and peasant. In the introduction the author states that the inescapable fact in India is poverty, something she never came to terms with, and this is reflected in some stories. There is a lot of unhappiness, boredom (or ennui) and some joy too...
Sylvia Mohen
Sep 29, 2007 Sylvia Mohen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who prefer their extra-marital affairs with a side of chapati
"What I am interested now is myself in India" writes Jhabvala in the introduction to this delightful collection of short stories. The stories paint an interesting portrait of Indian life and values from a Western perspective. When caste and tradition provide conflict, the author often deliberately draws her characters within certain moral lines. When Durga choses to shirk the traditional role of widow to live as she pleases, we feel resentment towards her self-serving family. To write Jhabvala o ...more
Catherine
Sep 04, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it
I know Ruth Prawer Jhabvala through her fantastic screenplays: The Householder, The Europeans, Quartet The Bostonians, Heat and Dust, A Room with a View, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day. I felt that
she was particularly suited to adapting the E.M. Forster novels because of her outsider status: a German Jew who fled to Britain during the war, moved to India with her husband, and then to the United States. As these stories (though fiction) reveal, she was in a constant state of outsider-ne
...more
Karol K
Oct 25, 2015 Karol K rated it really liked it
Good solid stories, some with a sexual twist that was surprising. I enjoyed and recommend.
Katie
Apr 04, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok
I picked this up at the library because it was about India. I struggled with it. Perhaps I'm not intellectual enough...
I pressed on, and was pleased that not ALL of the stories were tied somehow to sex but mostly I just wished these people were a little less ridiculous and that the stories spoke more to the version of India I experienced. (and yes, I did read the jacket blurb about the stories speaking to universal humanity; blah, blah, blah)
Emma
Aug 05, 2007 Emma rated it liked it
Through a series of short stories, the author provides a perspective of India through her version of the different types of people one might encounter there. I don't remember the book well, but I know I liked her writing style enough to pick this book up after reading Heat & Dust and then went on to read Travelers. Those who like movies like Remains of the Day, Howards End, and Room with a View will enjoy her work.
Micebyliz
read this many years ago!!! Didn't realize i had read this until i had read three stories and it started to dawn on me that it was familiar. Some of the sentences evoked the same reactions i had before and i recognized the same enjoyment. Then i realized i have also read Heat and Dust...
I saved her obituary from the NYT and i am sure i still have it in my paper archives.
James Hicks
Jan 16, 2008 James Hicks rated it liked it
great, well written short stories that show some views of what it was like (and maybe still is like) to live in India with all its many - sometimes contradictory - facets, layers and depths. This is not travel writing, but it could help someone traveling to India to begin to understand what they are going to be experiencing.
taramarie79
Jan 20, 2010 taramarie79 rated it liked it
I just finished this book last night around 1am. She is a very detailed author and it was well-written. I think her style of writing is what kept my attention more than the content. I picked this because it seemed like something I would not normally read. I will have to add her to my list of authors.
Susan Anderson
Apr 04, 2013 Susan Anderson rated it it was amazing
I read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala sometime in the 90s after watching her interviewed by Paris Review at the 92nd street Y and fell in love with her voice and her sense of life—wry, bitter, her love of words. A total artist immersed in story.
Sarah
Sep 24, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book of short stories about India from many different perspectives. It was gripping, sad, at times funny and ditsurbing. I am looking forward to reading more of her writing.
A.
May 09, 2008 A. rated it liked it
With quick-read short stories, this author tackles ideas of spirituality and how the search for happiness might be intertwined in it and in being female.
Lori
May 24, 2010 Lori rated it it was ok
Okay -- didn't finish before due back. p 107
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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, CBE is a Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant. Their films won six Academy Awards.

She fled Cologne with her family in 1939 and lived through the London Blitz.
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