Mulk Raj Anand
(1905 — 2004) was born in
and educated at the universities of Punjab and
. After earning his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1929, Anand began writing notes for
T.S. Eliot's magazine Criterion as
well as books on diverse subjects such as cooking and the arts. Recognition came
with the publication of his first two novels, Untouchable (1935) and Coolie (1936).
These were followed, among others, by his well-known trilogy The
Village (1939), Across the Back Waters
(1940) and The Swordand
the Sickle (1942). By the time he
in 1946, he was the best-known Indian writer abroad.
his home and centre of activity, Anand plunged with gusto into
India's cultural and social life. Writing remained, however, his main
pre-occupation, and in 1953 he published Private
Life of an Indian Prince — his finest literaryachievement. He also founded and edited the renowned Indian art magazine Marg,
and worked tirelessly on his monumental autobiographical fiction, The
Seven Ages of
Man. The recipient of several honorary doctorates
and other distinctions, he spent his last years at his picturesque retreat in
Khandala, where he had opened a small dispensary for the poor.