Clear Light of Day

Anita Desai

Anita Desai contribution to Indian English fiction.

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Anita Desai (nee Mazumbar) is a critically lauded 20th-century writer, and her novels on the experiences and inner lives of Indian men and women are known for their compassion, eloquence, and lucid prose. Having come of age when India achieved independence in 1947, Desai weaves politics and gender issues into her works.

Desai published her first short story when she was only twenty years old. Her first novel was Cry, the Peacock (1963). Her other novels include: Voices in the City (1965), Bye-Bye, Blackbird (1971), Where Shall We Go This Summer? (1975), Fire on the Mountain (1977), Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984), Baumgartner’s Bombay (1988), and The Zigzag Way (2004). In addition to novels, she has written books for children, numerous short stories that have been collected into anthologies, and essays.

Desai has received many awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Winifred Holtby Prize (1978), the Sahitya Akademi of India Award (1979), the Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction (1982), the National Academy of Letters Award, and three nominations for the Booker Prize. She has taught at Cambridge, Oxford, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and MIT; she is also a member of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Anita Desai, GradeSaver