Voices in the City is based on the life of the middle class intellectuals of Calcutta. It is an unforgettable story of a Bohemian brother and his two sisters caught in the crosscurrents of changing social values. In many ways the story reflects a vivid picture of India's social transition - a phase in which the older elements are not altogether dead, and the emergent ones not fully evolved. The novel describes the bitter effects of the urban living upon an Indian family. Brought up in luxury and magnificence by an over indulgent mother, Nirode settles down in Calcutta and becomes engrossed in its bohemian life, while his elder sister, Monisha lives out a servile existence within the rigid and stiff confines of a traditional Hindu family. Amla sees the city as a monster, Nirode sacrifices everything for his career, and Monisha cannot bear her stifling existence in the household of a wealthy old Calcutta family.
About the Author
Anita Desai, an Indian novelist and short story writer, is especially noted for her sensitive portrayal of the inner life of her female characters. Desai made her debut in 1963 with Cry, The Peacock. She has been a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Desai has taught at Girton College and Smith College in England, and at Mount Holyoke College in the United States. In 1993 she became a creative writing teacher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Desai is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. She received the Guardian Award for Children's Fiction for her novel The Village by the Sea (1982) and the 1978 National Academy of Letters Award for Fire on the Mountain. She has won the International Prize - Una Vita per la letterature (a life for literature) for her body of works under the Italian Grinzane Cavour awards.