Anita Desai: In Custody (3176 words)

  • Catherine Pesso-Miquel (Université Lyon II)

Anita Desai is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Indian novelists writing in English. She won a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978, and the 1983 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2007 she herself became one of the twenty-one members of the select Sahitya Akademi. Although she never won the Booker Prize, three of her novels were shortlisted at different times, among which In Custody (published in 1984, twenty-one years after her first novel). In Custody explores the relationship between a (fictitious) Urdu language poet and his admirer, a lecturer in Hindi. It can thus be described as a paradoxical work since it pays homage to Urdu poetry within the medium of English prose. The novel was turned into a Merchant Ivory …

Pesso-Miquel, Catherine. "In Custody". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 October 2012
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Indian Prose Fiction in English