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Taking us from a sweltering Indian rooftop at night to the marble halls of an ageing Bollywood star’s palace, this is a new collection of short stories from Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

A wedding is planned between two innocents at a crumbling mansion of a grand Hudson Valley estate, while among the white-socked convent girls of post-colonial New Delhi a mixed-race couple contemplate their son’s alienation and the failure of hope. A young English girl infiltrates Fifth Avenue theatrical royalty and a lovely Broadway starlet exacts a clever, protracted revenge against her nemesis.

Speaking of mortality and family rivalry, of the transfer of power from old to young, of love and the loss of innocence, this is a delicious assortment of fairytales and parables.

Reviews

A writer of genius . . . a master storyteller
Sunday Times