Ruth Prawer Jhabvala dies at 85 at residence

German-born American-British Booker prize winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who had earlier written screenplays for Merchant Ivory Production, died on April 3, 2013 in Manhattan at the age of 85.


For around five decades the writer was the screenwriter for Merchant Ivory productions. She had also won Oscars for her adaptations of ‘Howards End’ and ‘A Room With A View’. Jhabvala was also a prolific novelist, who won Britain’s Booker Prize for her 1975 novel ‘Heat and Dust’. The career of the novelist was developed after James Ivory and Ismail Merchant had asked her to pen a script based on her 1960 novel ‘The Householder’.

‘The Householder’ was published when she was living as an expatriate in the Indian capital Delhi. Jhabvala said that she wrote her first screenplay as blindly as she went to India and her collaboration with Merchant –Ivory went on to produce more than 20 films.

Jhabvala continued to work till the end of her life and her last screenplay was the James Ivory directed, ‘The City Of Your Final Destination’ in the year 2009. A new short story had appeared last week in the March 25, 2013 issue of The New Yorker, which was more than half of a century after her first one appeared there.