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A Stronger Climate
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A Stronger Climate

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A Stronger Climate

R. Prawer Jhabvala

1968.  1st Edition.  Hardcover.  FINE in near fine dust jacket.  With promotional photo laid in. 

Mrs. Jhabvala has published six novels of life in modern India.  The nine stories in A Stronger Climate represent her second collection.  Once again she proves her mastery as she probes Indian society, revealing its comedy, its pathos, and its gentle resistance. 

All of the stories are about Europeans in India.  The first section is called The Seekers, and is primarily about people who look to India for something that Europe has failed to give them.  They are attracted by the stronger climate, the stronger colors, the stronger personalities they find in India.  They want to enrich themselves emotionally or spiritually.  Richard, the young Englishman of "In Love with a Beautiful Girl," is very different from earlier Europeans, who had come mainly as conquerors; now it is the Europeans who long to be conquered by India and the Indians.  When Richard meets Ruchira, he forgets "how to measure himself out," and his responses flow beyond the girl herself into her country. 

The second section, The Sufferers, is about the Europeans who have stayed too long.  Everything they once found beautiful and fascinating has turned sour.  They are experiencing the bitterness of being old in a country they now discover to be implacably alien to them. 

Perhaps what all the stories in this volume say, finally, is that the Indian climate is not only stronger than that which Europeans are accustomed to; it is in the long run more than they are constitutionally able to bear.