Sunday, October 12, 2008

NY Times Book Review reviews BOMBAY ANNA by Susan Morgan

Other attention this title has received:

"Anyone who thinks that the British experience in India was a long succession of polo, tea on the lawn, brave officers leading the charge against howling native hordes and similar conceits will be riveted by Morgan's portrait of the gritty Anglo-Indian underclass from which Anna sprang."—The Gazette

"A fascinating, scholarly work."—Library Journal

"Probing biography of a woman who did a lot more than whistle a happy tune. . . . Morgan paints a satisfying, multifaceted portrait. Engrossing retelling of an extraordinary life, correcting many popular misconceptions."—Kirkus Reviews
"Anna Leonowens has been a historical puzzle. Susan Morgan establishes a solid ground for our understanding of this intriguing writer who became famous in our time thanks to a Broadway musical. Her life and contributions as a writer, a humanist, and a 19th century feminist were far richer beyond being the 'I' with the King."—Thongchai Winichakul, author of Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation

"With extraordinary detective work, Susan Morgan uncovers the real tale of a brilliant and dynamic traveler who cut ties to her past history and fabricated the story of her life that has found its way into legend. In lovely and graceful prose, she uses this story to help us understand patterns of national and international life."—Allan M. Winkler, author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Making of Modern America

"With sensitive writing and meticulous research, Bombay Anna offers the first comprehensive biography of Anna Leonowens, the 'I' in The King and I, which gave my father, Yul Brynner, his signature role. The details of her self-invention are only part of the revelation Susan Morgan provides; she also paints a masterful portrait of the Britain's Raj and its colonial hegemony in Southeast Asia. It is a fascinating read." —Prof. Rock Brynner, author of Yul: The Man Who Would Be King