Mulk Raj Anand’s Passage through Bloomsbury

  • Kristin Bluemel


Shortly after E. M. Forster published A Passage to India, a very young, entirely unknown Indian named Mulk Raj Anand left scandal and school behind in Amritsar to pursue a doctorate in philosophy at the University of London. Anand has often told the story of his passage in the mid-1920s from the streets of the Punjab to the squares of Bloomsbury, but he has rarely commented in any detail on his career at the BBC, his friendships with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, and Inez Holden, or the relation of these things to his highly acclaimed novels of the period. Other scholars have mentioned Anand’s contributions to the literary-political culture of 1930s London and Anand himself has playfully tried to recreate that experience in Conversations in Bloomsbury (1981), but the details of his life there remain vague.1 In part this is a problem of record; critics have been too dependent on the older Anand for fuzzy or fanciful recreations of his much younger self.2 This chapter focuses on writings by or about him written during or immediately after his twenty-year exile in England in order to examine his role as a radical eccentric and analyze his contributions to English intermodernism.


Indian Woman Female Character English Reader Good Mother Congress Party 
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© Kristin Bluemel 2004

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  • Kristin Bluemel

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