What is it about?

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's literary archive is in the process of being catalogued at The British Library. This article explores some of the possible meanings behind the artefacts within the archive by looking at how the transnational journeys they made reflect the diasporic nature of the writer's life and work.

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Why is it important?

The article gives an insight into unseen material about the author through research into publisher archives and direct engagement with the literary archive. It reflects on the impact of working with material objects just at a time when discussions about the digitisation of archives and heritage items and the importance of accessibility is getting some attention in academic study.


This is a personal perspective from the researcher working with Jhabvala's archive while in the process of cataloguing it for the public. It is aimed at opening up discussion about Jhabvala's full contribution to literature and how her diasporic existence both helped and hindered what is now her legacy.

Mrs Pauline McGonagle
University of Exeter

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This page is a summary of: A Transnational History of a Writer in Four Packages, Wasafiri, July 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/02690055.2019.1613006.
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