The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

This novel plots the story of two British women, separated by over fifty years, and their experiences of India, during British rule and after. The first is Olivia, married to an English official in India and expected to uphold all that the British in India represent. She abandons her husband, turns her back on England, and fifty years later another woman arrives from England to find out why. This novel fascinates as a love story while exposing the soul and nerve ends of a fascinating and compelling country.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born in Germany.

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Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala