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Artist of Disappearance, The: Book by Anita Desai

Artist of Disappearance, The

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ISBN: 9788184002812    Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE INDIA Year of publishing: 2012     Format:  Paperback Language: English
A brand-new paperback edition with a stunning new cover in watercolour



In this trio of exquisitely crafted novellas, experience the soaring brilliance and delicate restraint

of one of India’s...Read more
A brand-new paperback edition with a stunning new cover in watercolour



In this trio of exquisitely crafted novellas, experience the soaring brilliance and delicate restraint

of one of India’s great writers.


In the opening novella, ‘The Museum of Final Journeys’, a junior Civil Service officer is assigned to a remote

outpost. Bored with his new surroundings, he welcomes the diversion when he is called upon by an old

retainer to help preserve the decaying treasures of one family’s private museum. Tantalizing and nostalgic, this

is an allegory of time and dissolution, and of how the past erodes beauty and the present.


In the second novella, ‘Translator Translated’, a prematurely aged lecturer at a girls’ college chances upon the

opportunity of a lifetime when a self-absorbed publisher commissions her to translate to English a collection of

short stories of an obscure Oriya author. The assignment transforms her humdrum life, but when the author’s

family complains about a translation with which she has taken artistic licence her life unravels.


Finally, in the title novella, set in Mussoorie, the reclusive son of wealthy, neglectful parents has a solipsistic

existence in the remains of a burnt house high on a mountain. The arrival of a venal film crew from Delhi,

making a film about environmental degradation, compels him to withdraw even further into seclusion.


Intense, haunting and evocative, The Artist of Disappearance is a delightful rumination on solitude and human

frailties.

About The Author
Anita Desai is one of India’s foremost writers. She has written numerous works of fiction, including

Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984), and Fasting, Feasting (1999)â€"all shortlisted for the Man

Booker Prize-as well as Baumgartner’s Bombay (1988) and The Zigzag Way (2004). In Custody was

made into a film by Merchant-Ivory productions, starring Shashi Kapoor and Om Puri.


A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London, the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New

York, Girton College and Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and most recently Sahitya Akademi

in India, Anita Desai has also been a Professor of Writing at MIT and has frequently been honoured with

awards among them the Alberto Moravia Prize for Literature and the Padma Shri.

Born in Mussoorie to a German mother and a Bengali father, she was educated in Delhi, and currently

divides her time between USA and Mexico.


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