Baumgartner's Bombay, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Hugo Baumgartner, the central character of Anita Desai's dazzling novel, is a wandering Jew all his life.

From the agonising scenes of his childhood in pre-war Berlin, through his spell in business in Calcutta and then Bombay, he simply does not belong.

Too dark for Hitler's society he is too fair for India; he remains a firanghi, a foreigner, wherever he goes' Daily Telegraph 'Anita Desai writes beautifully, employing an opulent vocabulary to great effect in her physical descriptions.The achievement of a superior writer' Literary Review'A book that puts to shame all the little epithets and pert cliches that praise may offer' London Review of Books


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The absorbing tale of Hugo Baumgartner, a German Jew who grows up in Berlin in the lead up to WW11. Leaving Germany for India just before WW11, he finds himself interned and on his release after the war having to come to terms with life in India as return to Germany is not an option. Desai conjures up the trauma of life in Nazi Germany & India for Baumgartner - very vivid story telling and a poignant tale with a tragic end.

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