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Bakha is a young man, proud and even attractive, yet none the less he is an outcast in India's caste system: an Untouchable. In deceptively simple prose this groundbreaking novel describes a day in the life of Bakha, sweeper and toilet-cleaner, as he searches for a meaning to the tragic existence he has been born into - and comes to an unexpected conclusion. Mulk Raj Anand poured a vitality, fire and richness of detail into his controversial work, which led him to be acclaimed as his country's Charles Dickens and one of the twentieth century's most important Indian writers.
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Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was among the most highly regarded Indian novelists who wrote in English. Born in Peshawar, he lived in England for many years before settling in a village in Western India after World War II.
Ramachandra Guha is the author of a forthcoming two-volume biography of Gandhi and is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
One of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject -- Martin Seymour-Smith It recalled to me very vividly the occasions I have walked 'the wrong way' in an Indian city, and it is a way down which no novelist has yet taken me -- E. M. Forster
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