Published 1 September 2014
Length 272 pages
Playing Fields in Winter
Sarah Livingstone and Ravi Kaul meet at Oxford. She is English, sensing a chance to evade the pattern of conventional middle-class life to which her experience has so far conformed. The more sophisticated Indian, Ravi, also wishes to sample another way of life – if only temporarily. Against a quintessential Oxford background of gloomy winters and hesitant summers, of tea and ginger-nuts eaten beside electric bar fires, of other people’s lovemaking overheard through thin walls, of sherry parties and suicide attempts, of girls in long cotton skirts and evening punting expeditions, their affair blossoms for two academic years. Until the inevitable time when Ravi must depart for Lucknow, Sarah for job-hunting in London – and their expectations clash head on.
‘So well does Harris handle this story, so convincingly and passionately does she write, that we get to know the hero and heroine, fear for them, feel for them... an accomplished first novel’
Susan Hill, Good Housekeeping
About Helen Harris
Helen Harris has published four novels and many short stories in a wide range of magazines and anthologies. She teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and runs a life story writing programme for older people.
‘The relationship between Sarah and Ravi is very nicely, perceptively and credibly handled. Miss Harris has got a real subject, she can tell a story and create character’
Allan Massie, The Scotsman
‘Helen Harris has drawn a painfully accurate picture of the difficulty of holding on to a love in the face of society’s prejudice’
‘An unbridgeable gap is the theme movingly explored in talented Helen Harris’s first novel’
‘Rich in suggestion and imagination’
‘A reassuringly solid descriptive sense, and the confidence to handle a delicate theme of racial integration with forthright and readable flair’
Books and Bookmen