The Foreigner - Arun Joshi

The Foreigner

The Foreigner is a story of a young man who is detached, almost alienated — a man who sees himself as a stranger wherever he lives or goes — in Kenya, where he is born, in England and USA where he is a student and in India where he finally settles down. His detachment transcends barriers of geography, nationality and culture. It propels him from one crisis to another, sucking in the wake several other people, including June, an attractive American with whom he has a short lived but passionate affair.

The transitoriness associated with the word 'foreigner' permeates the novel and is handled with remarkable maturity reminding the reader of epoch-making The Outsider by Albert Camus. The protagonist's anguish at the meaninglessness of the human condition and the eventual release from the anxieties of life through karmayoga, the principle of action without attachment, add to the aesthetics of the work.

Book Review

'(The Foreigner) is not only a novel with a fine artistic vision rendering the subtle complexities of attitudes and the emotions in a language which has verve, ease and suppleness, ... (but) marks a definite improvement over all other novels in English on the East-West muddle.' The Journal of Indian Writing in English


Arun Joshi (1939-1993), son of a botanist and an eminent educationist, was born in Varanasi and educated in India and the U.S. After getting his Masters degree from M.I.T., he returned to India to pursue career in the corporate world. Yet writing remained his passion. In the five novels he wrote he spun out some of the most thought-provoking and outstanding fiction written in the twentieth century Indian literature and firmly established his credentials as a writer of rare talent and sensitivity. 

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