Seven Summers, first drafted when Mulk Raj Anand was a student at London University but not published till 1951, recreates the events and feelings of the first seven years of the writer's life, or what he called his 'half unconscious and half conscious childhood'.
First of the seven volumes of autobiographical fiction that Anand conceptualized but never completed, this book is full of memorable scenes and people observed through the eyes of a child. The most impressive of them all being the Coronation Durbar in Delhi to which our young hero is smuggled wrapped in a blanket so that the Sahibs might not object to the presence of 'so discordant an element into so gorgeous a ceremony'.
This edition of Seven Summers is a special reissue of the classic autobiography to commemorate Anand's birth centenary.
About the Author:
Mulk Raj Anand was born in Peshawar in 1905 and educated at the universities of Punjab and London. After earning his PhD in Philosophy in 1929, Anand began writing for T. S. Eliot's magazine Criterion as well as books on cooking and art. Recognition came with the publication of his first two novels, Untouchable and Coolie. These were followed by a succession of novels, including his well-known trilogy The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters (1940) and The Sword and the Sickle (1942). By the time he returned to India in 1946 he was easily the best-known Indian writer abroad.
Making Bombay his home and centre of activity, Anand threw himself headlong into the cultural and social life of India. He founded and edited the fine arts magazine Marg, and has been the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, several honorary doctorates and other distinctions.
Saros Cowasjee is Professor Emeritus of the University of Regina in Canada. His published works include two novels, Goodhye to Elsa (1974) and The Assistant Professor (1998), critical studies on Sean O'Casey and Mulk Raj Anand, and several anthologies of fiction, including The Mulk Raj Anand Omnibus (2004) And A Raj Collection (2005).
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