Valerie Fitzgerald

Valerie Fitzgerald's novel, Zemindar, won in 1980 the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel prize and in 1982 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association. This incomparable saga of love and war, tragedy and trumph, is drawn from personal experience. Her grandmother lived through the Indian mutiny so vividly recreated in this splendid novel. And when Ms. Fitzgerald's soldier father was posted to Luchnow during World War II, she spent her adolescent years in the city and her summers on a zemindari estate similar to Oliver Erskin's fabulous realm.Valerie says of the writing of Zemindar which took place over a span of nine years, "l have no recollection of just when, or more important, why l set about telling the story of the Siege. l suppose it was because l realized l had the right background - and because no one else, as far as I knew, had ever tried it."She thinks that the British and, by turn, the American fascination with India is rather simple. "I don't think there's any deep psychological reason," she said from Ottawa. "It isn't comparable, say, to America's involvement with Vietnam and the emotional scars that that has left behind. A much more cogent way of looking at it is that the British have suddenly realized that they have their own equivalent of the perennial western. We have an immense, extremely colorful, diverse history of the empire, and I think people are just beginning to realize that there are jolly good stories there for the telling."(Librarian note: text taken from a 1985 article in the Chicago Tribune)

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