Library


Rumer Godden
1907 - 1998


Black Narcissus
A troop of nuns try to convert an old mountain palace in the Himalayas near Darjeeling into a place of worship in the inter-war years Raj. They have to deal with nature, local culture and ancient religous rivalries to persevere.

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The River
Set in the interwar years in India. Three young lady's lives are turned upside down with the arrival of a handsome war veteran in town. It is based on Rumer Godden's autobiographical novel set alongside the River Ganges.

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A Breath of Air
Using the same themes, characters and ideas behind Shakespeare's The Tempest, Ruth Godden questions what happens when a white person becomes a despot of a tropical island with a non-European population. The essence of power and the processes of decolonisation are examined in this fictional setting.

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Breakfast with the Nikolides
Set in East Bengal at the outset of war in Europe, a family is reunited to escape the European conflict. However, they discover that living together brings complications and issues between the family and find it hard to resolve them.

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Kingfishers Catch Fire
Set in Kashmir, a mother and her two daughters attempt to find peace and quiet in a place that does not know them, only to find that their arrival causes quite a stir with the local population.

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Thus Far and No Further
Ruth Godden's diary-like account of her time settling in Darjeeling with her two daughters during World War Two. It gives a vivid account of life on the margins of Empire in the dying days of Imperialism.

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Two Under the Indian Sun
Another auto-biographical account, but this time of her life in India as a child during World War One. It gives a fascinating account of life in the Raj through the perspective of young children in an exotic location.

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Operation Sippacik
Ostensibly a children's book, Operation Sippacik tells the story of a boy and his donkey on the island of Cyprus as the troubles between Greece and Turkey spill into the countryside.

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The Peacock Spring
Another young adult story set in British India. About two daughters of Sir Edward Gwithiam, who are suddenly asked to leave their English school and move to India. It tells the story of the culture clash as the English and Indians live parallel lives.

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Coromandel Sea Change
A young couple arrive on the Indian coast for their honeymoon. However, the young couple find that their reaction to the exotic location only intensifies their differences to one another.

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