A "beautifully written, richly textured, and haunting story" (Chaim Potok), BAUMGARTNER'S BOMBAY is Anita Desai's classic novel of the Holocaust era, a story of profound emotional wounds of war and its exiles. The novel follows Hugo Baumgartner as he flees Nazi Germany -- and his Jewish heritage -- for India, only to be imprisoned as a hostile alien and then released to Bombay at war's end. In this tale of a man who, "like a figure in a Greek tragedy . . . seems to elude his destiny" (NEW LEADER), Desai's "capacious intelligence, her unsentimental compassion" (NEW REPUBLIC) reach their full height.
As always, Ms. Desai writes with intelligence and power. She has a remarkable eye for substance, the things that give life its texture....The book is wise and observant yet overwrought, edging into grandiloquence and improbability, the emotional drama artificially thickened by images and metaphors that are inflated and not especially fresh. -- New York Times