Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born in Cologne on 7th May 1927 into a comfortable, middle-class German-Jewish family. The early years of happiness she has recalled in various interviews came to an end in 1933 when Hitler and the National Socialists came to power in Germany. Six years later, in April 1939, the Prawer family (Ruth, her parents and her brother) were among the last Jewish families to leave Nazi Germany. Since that time Jhabvala has remained a foreigner wherever she has lived – England, India, and the United States – and that sense of being an outsider has had a considerable influence on her writing.
Jhabvala attended school and university in England, graduating from Queen Mary College, London in 1951 with an MA in English Literature having written a thesis on the short story in
Citation: Crane, Ralph. "Ruth Prawer Jhabvala". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2370, accessed 04 December 2023.]