Many of you may not know the novels of Rumer Godden. She died in 1998 at the age of 90, but began writing in the 1930s. She wrote over 60 books, some co-written with her sister, Jon. For years, her books were mostly available only as used books, but Virago, a division of Little and Brown, recently announced they are re-releasing three of her best-known novels: Black Narcissus, Kingfishers Catch Fire and Breakfast with the Nikolides.
Ms. Godden was British, but she and her sister were raised in colonial India, the setting for many of her books. I discovered her books when I was a teenager. I wrote to her, and she very kindly wrote back – a letter that is one of my dearest possessions to this day.
In many of her books, children play a pivotal role. She had a gift for remembering what it felt like to be in that hard in-between place of no-longer-a-child, but not-yet-an-adult. In Kingfishers Catch Fire, she made the Kashmir of that era come to life.
Treat yourself to some wonderful reading and check out these newly-released books by my favorite author, Rumer Godden.
Check out the Virago Gazette here.