About the Book

My Nine Lives

My Nine Lives

Chapters of a Possible Past
April 2004
Hardcover · 224 Pages
$25.00 U.S.
ISBN 9781593760281


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For her first novel in more than nine years, in a career of distinctive and unique accomplishments, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has written a most unusual book. My Nine Lives is, “Chapters of a Possible Past,” as the subtitle declares. It is, as the author has commented, a book filled with “invented memories.” Nine vignettes—autobiographical fictions—are linked to portray a rich life, filled with searching, from London to Delhi, from Hollywood to New York. Each chapter gathers a different cast of characters, some new and some vaguely familiar, and the linked assembly is as exciting and illuminating as an artist’s first show at a Chelsea gallery or a new play at the Studio Theater. After seventeen books, now in her seventy-seventh year, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala takes on as her subject herself, the life she may have or may have wished to live. My Nine Lives is a moving and intriguing book of invention and memory.

About the Author

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born of Polish parents in Germany, then moved with her family to London at the time of Hitler’s rise to power. She is the author of twelve novels, including Heat and Dust, which won the Booker Prize. She is a MacArthur Fellow and has been honored with an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written many screenplays for Merchant-Ivory Productions, two of them earning Academy Awards.