Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand

Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand is a 1935 novel. The book was inspired by his aunt’s experience when she had a meal with a Muslim woman and was treated as an outcast by her family.

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With precision, vitality, and a fury that earned him praise as India’s Charles Dickens, Mulk Raj Anand recreates in Untouchable what it was like to live on the fringes of society in pre-independence India. Bakha, an attractive, proud, and strong young man, is also an Untouchable, the lowest of the low in India’s caste system. A sweeper and a toilet-cleaner, he must warn others on the street of his status so that he will not pollute them with his presence. In this urgent 1935 re-creation of one day in the life of an outcast, a violent encounter leads Bakha to question his fate—and to find an answer in the unlikeliest of places.

About the Author

Mulk Raj Anand was born in Peshawar in 1905 and educated at the universities of Punjab and London. After earning his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1929, Anand began writing for T.S. Eliot’s magazine, the Criterion, as well as books on cooking and art. Recognition came with the publication of his first two novels, including his well- known trilogy – The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters ( 1940), and The Sword and the Sickle ( 1942). By the time he returned to India in 1946 he was easily the best – known Indian writer abroad. Making Bombay his home and center of activity, Anand threw himself headlong into the cultural and social life of India. He founded and edited the fine art magazine Marg, and has been the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, several honorary doctorates, and other distinctions.
If you want to know more about books related to caste and untouchability in India, click here.

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