“An Abundance of Happiness”

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, In Search of Love and Beauty (1983)
  • Lilian R. Furst

Abstract

At her sixtieth birthday party, as her family and friends stand by the lit cake singing, Louise gives “thanks in her heart for such an abundance of happiness with all her dearest ones around her” (112). Those dearest ones are her daughter, Marietta, her grandson, Mark, her adopted granddaughter, Natasha, her friend since schooldays, Regi, and Leo Kellermann, who can perhaps best be described as a guru. Louise and Regi and their women friends are “German or Austrian refugees who had managed to get their money out but felt bored and stranded” (12). Only Leo had arrived “penniless” (11) and still lives off his circle of admirers, largely female. Otherwise these are prosperous escapees who try to continue to lead much the same life in New York as they had done in Europe. Do they in fact find “an abundance of happiness,” or is this claim charged with irony?

Keywords

Migration Dust Europe Mold Dementia 

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Copyright information

© Lilian R. Furst 2005

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  • Lilian R. Furst

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