Anita Desai is one of India’s foremost writers. She has written numerous works of fiction, including Clear Light of Day (), In Custody (), and Fasting. Editions. Journey To Ithaca . Anita Desai · Paperback · Ebook. View more editions. Buy from Buy from – arrow icon. Hive · Waterstones. In trying to unravel the reasons for a young man’s search for spiritual realisation, this book combines the ambitions of a literary work with the.

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Long after I closed this beautiful book, I watched the iridescent colors change, and change again. But Sophie could not share Matteo’s enthusiasm about searching for “the mystery that is the heart of India” during the exhausting expedition and even after such a short time spent in the country, she had no doubt that it was a culture to which she would never belong. I was sympathic towards Sophie’s character, i could understand her anger and frustration Enduring concerns In her Booker shortlisted Fasting, FeastingDesai continues with her concerns relating to tradition and the expectations that rest on the individual: When I read about the early s when we had the west leaking into the east in search of spiritual enlightenment it guts me, because it is so ridiculous and convenient- to house a notion abita something that cannot be explained, proved, or intellectually discussed.

Stay in Touch Sign up. Anita Desai has yet again woven a beautiful story with the threads of human nature and their psyche bringing together ordinary characters with somewhat similar stories. Every time I think that things can’t get better and that one of these days one of her books will not be able to live up to the expectation that I associate with her name When we learn the Mother’s story, we see it as an earlier version of their own — aanita story of a young girl growing up in Cairo and finding itjaca way East by joining a troupe of Indian dancers she has met in Europe.

Here are some of my personal thoughts on the themes. But Laila stays some mystic, unnatural, poorly based one till her diary comes up at the very end.


Can you be “spiritually enlightened” and yet feel earthly emotions of jealousy? In a novel about the journey’s people take to find contentment or some sort of enlightenment, there are times when it almost feels like a non funny satire on the westerners that travelled to the Ash Having recently been reminded of my previous liking for Anita Desai when I read ‘Clear light of Day’ I pounced on this one while at the library with the school children that I work with.

The opposite-mentality characters were well brought out and so was the setting of India from the viewpoint of a Westerner, with the magic and the mysticism very prominent.

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However I have been really disappointed by it, and ultimately didn’t really know what Anita Desai was getting at. The book explores themes similar to many other books originating from the Subcontinent but its approach is unique and different. He bargains with his patrons over the littlest of things, is demanding of favours and privileges, and is not averse to making the other female dancers jealous simply to get his own way.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Now, it’s more stale and overthoughtout whatever thats a word. Matteo is seeking spiritual enlightenment, but for Sophie fulfillment lies in earthly love.

Might be more enjoyable to someone who is interested in the spiritual side of India and gurus.

Why Anita Desai’s novel ‘Journey to Ithaca’ is her very best work

Dec 27, LeeLee rated it liked it. Matteo and Sophie join the s flight of young Europeans to India. I left this book with a lot of unanswered questions as I anota from a Desai prose piece, but the characters linger, and finishing the book was painful.

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Journey to Ithaca – Wikipedia

And from the viewpoint that I have always been interested in India and enjoy reading about India, the impulse made perfect sense. There, through flashbacks, we meet Laila, a free-spirited teenager, half-Egyptian, half-French, who moves to Paris, rebels against her bourgeois aunt and joins an Indian dance troupe.

For any person wishing to understand what beautiful prose looks like, I’d point them to this body of work.


Falling in love with Krishna, the troupe’s charismatic, aloof leader, Laila tours Venice and s New York before moving with him to India, where she later renounces dance for enlightenment and transforms herself into the Mother. Oh and poor Sophie. Her prose is as beautiful as ever in this book. Nov 02, Tenzin Kunkhen rated it liked it. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.

The individuals in the three novellas who make up this collection nurture their creativity in different ways — whether it is in setting up a museum of randomly collected objects, being a little known writer in a regional language, or even creating a secret garden — in the hope of finding happiness, one that does not have to be explained to anyone. Dec 01, Pages.

Why Anita Desai’s 1995 novel ‘Journey to Ithaca’ is her very best work

Caroline was sent to a convent school in Milan and Matteo to a school in Turin which had been recommended by his uncle.

I agree, Bombay has gotten disgusting over the years but during the years described in the book, I know for a fact, that its near impossible. Sophie and Matteo’s two beautiful children are almost awash in their pursuit. This is absolute non-sense.

Former MP shifted to high-security jail after he allegedly assaulted businessman in prison Bollywood in Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc. I expected journney spiritual journey for the reader along with its characters but this one seems to be going nowhere. An ambiguous denouement reiterates the haunting questions about sacred and profane love that echo throughout the book. This is one of the relationships I was unable to fathom. The unexpected, some would say unresolved, ending was a surprise.

She is convinced that the Mother is a charlatan who has bedazzled Matteo. They assaulted them, they crucified them. But he remained a rebellious student, learning nothing, eating nothing.