This website is no longer being updated
Sawnet - Bookshelf -
Anita Desai was born June 24, 1937 in India to a German mother
and an Indian father. She grew up during World War II and could see
the anxiety her German mother was experiencing about the
situation and her family in Germany. After the war when she realized
the Germany she had known was devasted, her mother never returned
there, nor had any desire to return. Anita herself did not
visit until she was an adult. She has taught at Mt. Holyoke and Smith
is a member of the Advisory Board for English in New Delhi. She
writing at MIT. She is married and has four children, including
own home page at MIT
- Profile from the
SAJA web site
- Interview by Magda Costa,
reading at MIT.
shortlisted for Booker Prize. Sep 99.
film to premiere. MIT Press, July 1994.
novelist joins writing faculty. MIT Press, Sep 1993.
- Bio and description
- The Zig-Zag Way
Houghton Mifflin (2004)
- Desai paints a subtle, miniaturist portratit of twentieth-century Mexico as experienced by a young American man. A newly minted historian, Eric has come to Mexico as a first-time traveler. At first overcome by sensory overload, he is gradually seduced by the strangeness, the color, the mysteries of an ancient world. He finds himself on a curious quest for his own family in an old mining town, where a hundred years earlier young Cornish miners toiled without relief. The native Indians who now suffer the same labor have found an unlikely savior: the formidable Queen of the Sierra, Doña Vera, widow of a mining baron with a colorful, dubious, European past.
With vivid sympathy and telling detail, Desai conjures Eric's grandparents and the poignant story of a young English girl whose grave is in a cemetery on a Mexican hillside. At the feast of the Day of the Dead, when the locals celebrate and remember their departed, the zigzag paths of these lives converge, bringing together past and present in a moment of powerful epiphany
- Sawnet Review by Champa Bilwakesh
- Review in the Times, UK
- Snakes and Ladders. Maya Jaggi in the Guardian.
- Another Guardian review
- Review in desijournal.
- Fasting, Feasting
- Review in Salon.
- Review of
Fasting, Feasting by Man from Matunga.
Feasting, reviewed by Lakshmi Chandra in Feminista.
- Journey to Ithaca
to Ithaca, reviewed by Richard Bernstein in the New York Times.
to Ithaca, reviewed by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison in the New York Times.
- Baumgartner's Bombay
Bombay, review by Michiko
Kakatuni in the New York Times.
Bombay, review by Paul West
in the New York Times.
- In Custody
Custody. Review by John Gross in the New York Times.
Custody. Review by
A.G.Mojtabai in the New York Times
- Clear Light of Day
- Cry the Peacock
- Games at Twilight and Other Stories
- Fire on the Mountain
- Sawnet Review by Pratibha Ghogale-Kelapure
- Bye Bye Blackbird
- Voices in the City