MY GOD DIED YOUNG by Sasthi Brata
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A remarkable, revelatory book which deals with the various emotional and intellectual processes which prompted Mr. Brata's transfer from his native India to the West. Believing, with Sartre, that existence precedes essence, there are times he is to question whether the givens of his particular essence can ever be annulled: growing up in a well-to-do Hindu household which was dominated by his father but where he slept in his mother's bed until he was sent away to school. Under a broader canopy of religious and cultural ceremonials and commandments, he soon realized that any ""reasoned dialogue"" with the Indian mind was impossible; his schooling, differently repressive, promoted the ferment; a long (three-year) love affair with a girl whom he for a time liberated did not work out--sex did not ""fit into their idealized and intellectualized lives."" In fact much that he writes about the sexuality of the country of the Kama Sutra is paradoxical; and about the status of women; and education; and youth; and above all India's submission and superstition, as vitiating as her poverty and famine. All in all it is a fascinating testament of self-discovery, haunted by the thought that ""with eyes so heavily blinkered to keep out the rays of sin and sun, can I ever hope to be a free being? Will I ever be a writer?"" Of that there can be no question--the book is as illumining as it is involving.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Harper & Row