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Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

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The birth and growth of major religions

What do we really know of the origins and first spread of major monotheistic religions, once we strip away the myths and later traditions that developed? Creating God uses modern critical historical scholarship alongside archaeology to describe the times and places which saw the emergence of Mormonism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. What was the social, economic and political world in which they began, and the framework of other contemporary religious movements in which they could flourish? What was their historical background and what was their geographical setting? Written from a secular viewpoint, the author reveals where a scholarly approach to the history of religions may diverge from the assumptions of faith, and shows the value of comparing different movements and different histories in one account. Throughout history, many individuals have believed that they were in direct contact with a divine source, receiving direction to spread a religious message. A few persuaded others and developed a following, and a small minority of such movements grew into full religions. In time, these movements developed, augmented, selected and invented their own narratives of foundation: stories about the founders’ lives and the early stages in which their religious group emerged. Modern critical scholarship helps us understand something of how a successful religion could emerge, thrive and begin the journey to become a world faith. This book presents a narrative to interest, challenge and intrigue readers interested in the beginnings of some of the most powerful ideas that have influenced human history.

Julian M. Simpson

study, Rooin Boomla, was himself working as a GP by 1948, having migrated as a child and taken over the practice run by his father, Faridoon Boomla (see Figure 1) who was a GP in South 64 64 Healthcare and migration in Britain Figure 1  Faridoon Boomla, a GP in Plumstead, South East London from the 1920s to the early 1940s. East London from the late 1920s to the early 1940s.29 Rooin Boomla recalled the existence of a Parsee medical network, which facilitated his father’s move into practice in Britain.30 He believes that his father would have relied on the Indian

in Migrant architects of the NHS
Arthur & George
Peter Childs

misunderstanding of George’s Parsee father’s origins infiltrates an otherwise simple statement: ‘The prisoner’s father, the Hindoo Vicar of Great Wyrley, also gave evidence’ (AG, p. 115). 8 The first part of the book is presented in short sections alternately describing the early years of the two main characters, who are in complete ignorance of each other. Barnes uses Arthur’s first remembered moment of entering a room to see his grandmother’s corpse as a way into imagining the seeds of Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism and his desire to see

in Julian Barnes
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P&O and the opium trade, 1845–57
Freda Harcourt

merchant–owners dominated, Parsees had a significant share of the dealing and carrying trade. Specially designed clippers, with several coasters and receiving ships besides, made up the combined ‘opium fleet’ of more than 100 vessels. 17 But even the fastest clippers could make only 2, or at most, 3 voyages each year, for none of them could withstand the adverse north-east monsoon. A voyage by clipper from

in Flagships of imperialism
The BBC and the empire, 1939–53
Thomas Hajkowski

Brush Up on air. Rather, the Listener Research Department collected questions from their contacts “and these would be put and answered as actual questions sent in by listeners, the listeners’ name being quoted.”56 The following, from an episode of Brush Up on India, was typical: Gamlin: The other Indian feature that interests most people in Europe is the Taj Majal. Mrs. Sanders of Bedworth asks this—how old is the Taj Mahal? … [answer provided by guest] … Gamlin: And what about Parsees? Mr. Rhodes of Guiseley asks who Parsees are exactly. 57 Convenience, more than

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Dame Emma Albani, Dame Nellie Melba, Dame Clara Butt
Jeffrey Richards

reception given for her by a Parsee lady. In South Africa, she sang it to Zulu miners at Kimberley after they had performed one of their dances for her. In 1883, while on an operatic tour of the USA, she detoured to give concerts in Montreal, her first visit to her birthplace since she had left to start her career. She was rapturously received; and at her packed concerts, as well as French ballads and

in Imperialism and music
Julian M. Simpson

provided by F.  B. Kotwall, a Parsee doctor who worked in the small town of Spennymoor in the industrial north-​east of England. He spoke of his sense of connection through religion to his older partner, a practising Jew who had migrated from Central Europe: Dr Brauer was German, of Jewish origin … What I found enchanting was that when the Jewish festival came round, he used to pray in the same way as the Parsees pray … rocking the body back and forward with a book in his hand. He was very good to me. He had to flee Germany because he was Jewish and he had to come to the

in Migrant architects of the NHS
Mary A. Procida

Europeans, followed by Eurasians and Indian Christians. Only fifty-eight of the officers were described as Hindus, Parsees (sic) or Others’. Similarly, of the 8,818 ‘auxiliaries’, only 1,313 were Hindus/Parsees/Other. 61 Anglo-Indians interpreted Indian women’s general unresponsiveness to wartime recruitment as indicative of their lack of political commitment and patriotic

in Married to the empire
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Gordon Pirie

noting a reception from the Mayor of Croydon. 49 To his credit, the acerbic C. G. Grey offered some publicity in his Aeroplane magazine. He managed not to be patronising, but he deflected attention away from aviation and stressed the ‘considerable ethnological interest in Chawla’s flight’. Grey was relieved by Chawla’s Parsee identity (Irani’s Parsee identity went unmentioned

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation