• Introduction to Pied Piper of Lovers

    James Gifford (see profile)
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century, CLCS Global Anglophone, LLC 20th- and 21st-Century English and Anglophone, TC Postcolonial Studies
    British literature, English literature, Indian literature, Modern literature
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    Editor's Introduction to Pied Piper of Lovers. Durrell's first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, was published in 1935, shortly after he left England to live abroad until his death in 1990. As an autobiographical Künstlerroman, it traces Walsh Clifton's Anglo-Indian childhood and his struggles to negotiate a life between "mother" India and "father" England. The trauma of leaving India for an alien home propels the novel's concerns with colonial life and its wounds, transitioning from an idyllic rural world to London and Bloomsbury in the 1920s. Pied Piper of Lovers draws keenly from Durrell's own life and charts the emotional experiences that would drive the rest of his career. For these reasons, Durrell never allowed republication, and the novel was largely lost in the London Blitz. Pied Piper of Lovers prompts significant reconsideration of the impetus and political tensions behind Durrell's late modernist masterpieces, The Alexandria Quartet, The Avignon Quintet, and Bitter Lemons. This new edition allows readers to reevaluate Durrell's complex role as a colonial writer in a postcolonial world by emphasizing his irony, privileges, and bitterness for a life always lived in-between.
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