"If we could have chosen a runner-up, we would undoubtedly have given the runner-up award to Anita Desai and Fasting, Feasting; a most beautiful novel, very moving, very funny, terribly illustrative of what happens to women in different parts of the world" GERALD KAUFMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 1999
"Anita Desai is one of Tolstoy's inheritors. Like his, her writing is sensuous, radical and uncannily perceptive... Fasting, Feasting is a hypnotically readable story, in language which has the precision of poetry... an ambitious, successful and disturbing novel" THE TIMES
Uma, the plain, spinster daughter of a close-knit Indian family, is trapped at home, smothered by her overbearing parents and their traditions, unlike her ambitions younger sister Aruna, who
brings off a 'good' marriage, and brother Arun, the disappointing son and heir who is studying in America.
Across the world in Massachusetts, life with the Patton family is bewildering for Arun in the alien culture of freedom, freezers and paradoxically self-denying self-indulgence.
"In Fasting, Feasting - the most recent in a series of outstanding fictions - she returns to a world which is already disappearing and a milieu of which she remains the peerless chronicler... This is a compelling, mature work by India's finest writer in English" INDEPENDENT
"This is a quiet, low-key novel, notable for its vignettes... [which] are so sharp, so rich in detail, that the book packs a real polemic punch... Fasting, Feasting is a fine showcase for the delicate, distinctive skills of Anita Desai" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH