Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Anglo-Indian Writing

One isn't too aware of novels that deal with Anglo-Indians -- the titles that come to mind are Ruskin Bond's The Room on the Roof and Hugh and Colleen Gantzer's The Year Before Sunset, as well as Laura Roychowdhuri's moving travelogue/love story, The Jadu House. Now, Peter Carty in The Independent reviews Glen Duncan's The Bloodstone Papers, a novel that deals with Anglo-Indian Ross Munro's departure from India: "His tale is narrated in present-day London by his son, Owen, writing a novel based around his father's recollections. Another link to the past is Owen's efforts to trace his father's old enemy Skinner, a debonair Englishman who Ross believes betrayed him." Carty finds much to praise here: "Duncan's historical research...has produced flawless results: I can vouch for that, because my mother is Anglo-Indian. A myriad of fine detail captures this forgotten race: their blinkered sentimentality, unwavering Christian faith and easy affinity with all things Indian - other than, sadly, the Indians themselves." Perhaps its not as much research as memory; Duncan himself was born of an Anglo-Indian family, after all.


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