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In Custody  
Author Anita Desai
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Heinemann
Publication date 8 October 1984
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 208 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-434-18635-X (first edition, hardback)
OCLC Number 11284150

In Custody (1984) is a novel set in India by Indian American writer Anita Desai. It was Shortlisted, Booker Prize for Fiction in 1984.


Plot summary

Deven earns a living by teaching Hindi literature to uninterested college students. As his true interests lie in Urdu poetry, he jumps at the chance to meet the great Urdu poet, Nur.


The 1993 Merchant Ivory Productions film In Custody (based upon her 1984 novel of the same name) was directed by Ismail Merchant, with a screenplay by Shahrukh Husain. It won the 1994 President of India Gold Medal for Best Picture and stars the noted actors Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Om Puri.


  • Baena, Rosalía. “The Condition of Life and Art in Anita Desai's In Custody.” Commonwealth Essays and Studies 22.2 (2000 Spring): 59-68
  • Landow, George. In Custody on the Postcolonial Web
  • Sen, Sharmila. “Urdu in Custody.” South Asian Review 22 (2001): 57-70

External links


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