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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
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Author
    (May 7, 1927-April 3, 2013)
    Born in Cologne, Germany
    Birth name was Ruth Prawer
    Novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
    Wrote 'To Whom She Will' (1955), 'The Nature of Passion' (1956), 'The Householder' (1960), 'Like Birds, Like Fishes' (1963), 'A Stronger Climate' (1968), 'A New Dominion' (1972), 'Heat and Dust' (1975), 'Out of India' (1986) 'East Into Upper East: Plain Tales from New York and New Delhi' (1998) and 'My Nine Lives' (2004)
    Wrote screenplays for 'Shakespeare Wallah' (1965), 'Bombay Talkie' (1972), 'Roseland' (1977), 'The Europeans' (1979), 'Quartet' (1981), 'Heat and Dust' (1983), 'The Bostonians' (1984), 'A Room with a View' (1985), 'Mr. and Mrs. Bridge' (1990), 'Howards End' (1992), 'The Remains of the Day' (1993), 'Jefferson in Paris' (1995), 'Surviving Picasso' (1996), 'The Golden Bowl' (2000) and 'Le Divorce' (2003)
    Became a citizen of the UK (1948) and US (1986)
    Named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature (1998)
    She said about getting a degree in literature, 'I even did a thesis on the short story in England from 1700 to 1750. There weren't any of course -- but that was my thesis.'
    She said, 'I'm absolutely passive, like blotting paper.... Not really having a world of my own, I make up for my disinheritance by absorbing the worlds of others.'
    When Ismail Merchant and James Ivory first contacted her about adapting one of her novels into a film, she pretended to be her mother-in-law while talking to them on the phone.
    She had little interest in movies until she began writing screenplays for Merchant and Ivory.
    Critic Owen Gleiberman wrote that she, Merchant and Ivory 'have turned civility into a kind of middlebrow fetish.'
    She attended segregated Jewish schools growing up in Germany.
    Her family fled the Nazi regime for England (1939).
    Her father, depressed over the huge number of relatives who had died in the Holocaust, committed suicide (1948).
    She was married to architect Cyrus Jhabvala for over 60 years.
    She won the prestigious Booker Prize for 'Heat and Dust.'
    She won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'A Room with a View' and 'Howard's End.'
    She won a MacArthur Foundation 'Genius Grant.' (1984)

Credit: C. Fishel


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