An Experience of India

I read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s book and think it a literary inadequacy.
Remember how the “East” was portrayed? Or how people this side of the globe were “Orientals”? Remember your Somerset Maugham where Asian servants were sly and slit-eyed and your American literature where the African slave had the mind of a child? That last one is exactly what the description of the Indian protagonist in “A Star and Two Girls”- one of the short stories in the collection- smacks of.
Did you know that she wrote the screenplay for Merchant-Ivory’s A Room With a View? I loved how the book was brought to the screen.I want to read her other work and see if she EVER gets any better or deserves one pice (I’m getting furiously Indian now) of her ridiculous respect as some kind of a tiny Colossus of the Indian lit.scene.
I’ll bet she’s only good at portraying the Europe of her 1930s childhood and its cultural morphing. Which is fine, but why the undeserved credit as a master of many cultures? Apparently she _invented_the term diasporic before there _was_ a diaspora. We shall see.


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