A House with Four Rooms (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
The title of Rumer Godden’s second autobiographical book is explained in an introductory note by the author: “There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
Rumer Godden’s first autobiographical book, A Time to Dance, No Time to Cry (1988), made it clear that there was never much danger of her failing to rise to the challenges which life presented to her, challenges which would indeed make her a complete person. Her determination was evident throughout this account of her early years in India. With her physical activity limited because of a back injury, she decided to teach dance. At a time when upper-class girls did not earn their own living, she shocked Calcutta by opening her own school; in addition, she had the intellectual and emotional independence to admit students of all races. When her broker husband proved to be an embezzler and fled into the service, leaving her alone in wartime India with two young children, crippling debts, and no means of support, she had the emotional fortitude to survive and the integrity to pay off debts which were not, strictly speaking, her responsibility. Furthermore, she found time and strength to write. In 1939, she had seen her novel Black...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Library Journal. CXIV, October 1, 1989, p.95.
Los Angeles Times. November 24, 1989, p. E32.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIV, December 24, 1989, p.24.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXVI, September 1, 1989, p.69.
The Times Literary Supplement. January 5, 1990, p.5.
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