Rama is a young scholar who meets Madeleine at a university in France. There is an instant connection between them and they soon realize that they could be made for each other as they share the same temperament and character. Though, there are times when they are divided because of the huge gulf that separates them. When Rama needs to return to India, he cannot help but realize the many contrasts between India and Europe. He is also aware of the conflict between them within himself. When he returns to France, Madeleine and Rama need to face the problems they are having in their marriage. Both of them would like to preserve their identities. Will one of them have to sacrifice their tradition in order to make their relationship work?
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Raja Rao was an Indian writer of English language novels and short stories. His works were deeply rooted in Hinduism. His work spans across a variety of genres and has brought about varied and significant contribution to Indian English literature and world literature. Raja Rao was awarded the Neustadt International Prize in Literature in the year 1988. The Serpent and the Rope made him one of the finest Indian prose stylists and eventually won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964. In 1969, he won the Padma Bhushan and in 2007 he won the Padma Vibhushan.From Publishers Weekly:
This new edition of a book first published in 1960 and out of print for two decades, is likely to prove an insurmountable challenge to the general reader. Teeming wtih arcane legends, philosophical dialogues, songs and poetry, studded with a host of characters and a quantity of exotic locales, the novel seems a paradigm of India itselfas vast, diffuse and enigmatic as Western perception would have it. Its various parts are loosely bound together by a thin narrative thread describing the marriage of Rama, a young Brahmin doing graduate work in France, to Madeleine, an ethereal French college teacher, some six years his senior. In her eagerness to attain Eastern wisdom, Madeleine first casts her husband in the role of guru. Later, as her "saintliness" (or madness) progresses, she transcends the need for human companionship, leaving Rama free to pursue his own search for self-awarenessa quest that consistently leaves the reader uninvolved. This "sad and uneven chronicle of a life" is rendered without the kind of dramatic focus necessary to bridge the gulf between the protagonist's sensibility and ours.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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