Demon-Lovers and Holy Mothers: Heat and Dust

  • Laurie Sucher


Heat and Dust (1975) is at the time of writing probably Jhabvala’s best-known novel; it has been available in a paperback edition ever since the appearance of the film version of the novel in 1977. It contains Jhabvala’s most characteristic techniques — filmic flashback, using a combination of first- and third-person narrative, and themes — the dangers of sexual passion, Westerners in India, heterosexual women in relation to homosexual men. Again, the work is constructed, magically, it seems, on the fine line between the comic and the tragic. The two factors of the novel’s availability and its centrality, I offer to justify the disproportionate amount of space that it occupies in this study. In fact, it is a rather short novel, almost a novella, and its spare, compressed prose has almost the effect of poetry, reverberating with meanings and significations that seem to lie just beneath the surface — another quality that may explain my fascination with it.


Heterosexual Woman Sexual Freedom Western Woman Male Privilege Hindu Tradition 
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© Laurie Sucher 1989

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  • Laurie Sucher

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