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The Root and the Flowerby L.H. Myers
Synopses & Reviews
Set in the war-torn world of Mughal India and ﬁrst published in the gathering darkness of the 1930s, "The Root and the Flower" is an epic story of intrigue, murder, and romance; ofTantric abandonment and Buddhist renunciation; of emotional delirium and spiritual adventure.
The cast of characters includes Hari, a reckless and passionate warrior; Sita, in love with both Hari and her husbandAmar, a prince who wishes to forsake the world but is increasingly drawn into a bloody political struggle; and Sita and Amar's son Jali, whose precocious encounters with sex and violence threaten him withmadness.
At once a dream of India and a vision of a world riven by political, ethnic, and religious conﬂicts, "The Root and the Flower" is a work of great range and singularpoetic beauty. It is, in Penelope Fitzgerald's words, a "strange masterpiece," and one of the unsung glories of modern literature.
About the Author
L.H. Myers (1881–1944) was the son F.W.H. Myers, an essayist and investigator into parapsychology, and Evelyn Tennant, an accomplished amateur photographer and famous Victorian beauty. Myers attended Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, traveled, underwent a transforming mystical experience in a Chicago hotel room, and fell in love with Elsie Palmer, a general’s daughter from Glen Eyrie, Colorado, whom he later married. His first novel, The Orissers (1922), was followed by The Clio (1925), Strange Glory (1936), and The Root and the Flower (originally issued as three separate books between 1929 and 1935). A final novel, The Pool of Vishnu (1940), revisits the Indian setting and some of the characters of The Root and the Flower while also reflecting Myers’s newfound commitment to communism. Increasingly unhappy in his later years, Myers struggled to write an auto-biography, but remained unsatisfied with the work, which he finally destroyed. He committed suicide in 1944.
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