Based on the life of the middle class intellectuals of Calcutta, it is an unforgettable story of a Bohemian brother and his two sisters caught in the cross-currents of changing social values. This fascinating novel, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award describes the corrosive effects of city life upon an Indian family.
This fascinating novel describes the corrosive effects of city life upon an Indian family. Brought up in luxury by an over-indulgent mother, Nirode settles down in Calcutta and becomes absorbed into its bohemian life, while his elder sister, Monisha lives out a servile existence within the rigid confines of a traditional Hindu life. Their younger sister arrives from the country and becomes involved with an artist; but the outcome of this and the dreadful decision Monisha eventually takes, makes this novel a doubly haunting and a consummate work of art.
Based on the life of the middle class intellectuals of Calcutta, it is an unforgettable story of a Bohemian brother and his two sisters caught in the cross-currents of changing social values. In many ways the story reflects a vivid picture of India's social transition — a phase in which the older elements are not altogether dead, and the emergent ones not fully evolved.
REVIEWS : …grips the reader from the very first page…..Calcutta evidently can be as good a center of Bohemians as Paris…a readable novel, without many false notes. —Tribune
…has a vitality that highlights a compulsive creative talent….There is a convincing fury about this novel. —Sunday Times, London
…succeeds in creating a living, imaginative and eloquent impression of India today. —The Times, London
...The novel is a vivid picture of India's social transition. - Deccan Herald
About the Author
Anita Desai was born in 1937. Her published works include adult novels, children's books and short stories. Clear Light of Day (1980), in Custody (1984) and Fasting, Feasting (1999) were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and The Village by the Sea won the Guardian Award for children's fiction in 1982. Anita Desai is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London, of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York and of Girton College at the University of Cambridge. She teaches in the Writing Program at M I T and divides her time between India, Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England. In Custody was recently filmed by merchant ivory Productions.
(4 out of 5)Critical view of Anita Desai's Voices in the City
Reviewer: Manjusha.P.M from coimbatore,tamil nadu,india
Voices in the City, published in 1965 is Anita Desai’s second novel. The novel vividly presents the consciousness of three characters, Nirode, Monisha and Amla. R.S.Sharma points out in Anita Desai, “With all its strong sense of place and locale, the novel operates primarily on a symbolic level. But, it has a vast canvas of event, characters and tangled relationship that add to the narrative appeal” (49).
Nirode is portrayed as negative character who always fills is mind with darkness.Even if others have confidence about his bright future, he has no hope on that improvement.he feels that his life is damned and he is a useless creature.his sister Monisha is a lover of solitude who unlike her wishes is married in a large family where she is denied of all sorts of privacy.one day unable to bear her situation she commits suicide in a frenzied mood.Amla, another important character in the novel, is not much frustrated like Nirode and Monisha but does not lead a satisfied life.Towards the end of the novel, after the death of Monisha , Nirode and Amla overlooks life in a different way. They achieve some sort of revelation,though Monisha's death.Anita Desai has portrayed Monisha's death as a sacrifice as it brings out new perspective in Nirode and Amla's life.