'Bye, Bye Blackbird' by Anita Desai is a psychological analysis of the immigrants who suffer a mixed feelings of love and hate towards the country of their adoption. In 'Bye, Bye Blackbird' the author Anita Desai deals with the East-West encounters. 'Blackbird' used in the title is none other than the immigrant, whom London says goodbye. Desai highlights the physical and psychological problems of Indian immigrants and explores the adjustment difficulties that they face in England. The author gives beautiful descriptions of the busy London and the quite retired life in countryside, which is totally opposite to one another. The characters are not so real, but their inner conflicts and crisis remain the same that every immigrant undergoes.
The prolific writer Anita Desai was born on 24th June 1937. In her literary career she has won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize for her novel 'Fire on the Mountain' and her children's book 'The Village by the Sea won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. Anita Desai is known for her sensitive portrayal of the inner feelings of her female characters. Many of Anita Desai's novels explore tensions between family members and the alienation of middle-class women. She is a very explicit writer covering the nitty-gritty's of human relationship as well as female involvement in the family. In her later novels, Anita Desai has taken up subjects on varied themes such as German anti-Semitism, the demise of traditions, and Western stereotypical views of India as well. She is an excellent writer and winner of numerous numbers of awards. She started her writing career at the age of nine. Though she was fluent in German, Hindi, English and Bengali, she started writing in English only. In present days Anita Desai is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Girton College, Cambridge and Clare Hall, Cambridge. Anita lives in the United States, where she is the John E. Burchard Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
Synopsis: This creation of Anita Desai is set against England's green landscape, enigmatic and attractive to some, depressing and nauseating to others, Bye-Bye Black Bird explores the lives of the outsiders seeking to forge a new identity in an alien society. The blackbirds here are the immigrants. Anita Desai delves deep into the psyche of her characters. The writer aims at truth, and that is the keyword of her success. Bye-Bye Blackbird examines the plight of Indian immigrants in London. The book is divided into three parts e.g. Arrival, Discovery and Recognition, and Departure. Dev arrives in England for higher studies. He stays with Adit Sen and his English wife, Sarah. Dev gives up the idea of studying and starts looking for a job. Unable to find any, he thinks of returning to India. But it is well settled Adit who decides to leave London. Meanwhile, Dev manages to find a job and stays back. In this novel the common problem of England 'Racism' has shown widely. The treatment meted out to Indians disturbs Dev. He hates being called a 'Wog', as Indians are humiliated in public and private places. England is said to be full of Asians, but Dev's visit to countryside changes his attitude towards England. As for Adit, he finds himself living in a 'little India' in London. He loses his former rock-solid mental and emotional balance, while Adit's English wife Sarah feels like making claim to a life and an identity that she never owned.
Being published by the Orient Paperbacks 'Bye, Bye Blackbird' is a piece of work by the author Anita Desai where she critically analysis the love-hate relationship of the immigrants in a psychological way.
'Bye, Bye Blackbird' by Anita Desai talks something more than life. She set the background of the story in England, the feelings and sufferings of the Indians at that place. All through she has shown some sort of identity crisis, which the characters of the novel suffers. All of them were not happy and were searching something else. The readers will find a kind of resemblance with their own life who stays outside India in true sense. This is a masterpiece by Anita Desai that touches the heart with a pinch of sourness.
(Last Updated on : 06-01-2009)
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