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G V Desani


Though he, to all intents and purposes, only wrote one book – All About H. Hatterr – Desani can lay claim to being the founder of modern Anglo-Indian literature. He has influenced many of the major writers up to and including Salman Rushdie. Govindas Vishnoodas Desani was born in Nairobi in 1909. When he was four the family moved to Sind, then in India but now in Pakistan. He was intelligent and taught himself much. At the age of seventeen, he ran away from home and went to England, where, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted as a reader to the British Museum. He became a journalist and worked at this profession for twenty-five years. He also gave talks on a variety of subjects, particularly antiquities. During the war, he worked as a teacher and lecturer and attracted large audiences. He also worked as a broadcaster for the BBC. In 1948, he published his only novel, All About H. Hatterr, which had considerable success on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1952, he returned to India, where he remained in seclusion, studying yoga and similar forms of meditative culture. He later lectured on these techniques. He returned to journalism in the 1960s as well as publishing short stories and then taught in the United States, primarily at the University of Texas in Austin. He died in Texas in 2000. Sadly, his work is starting to be forgotten.

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G. V. Desani
All About G. V. Desani


1948 All About H. Hatterr
1952 Hali
1973 Mainly concerning Kama and her Immortal Lord
1991 Hali and Collected Stories