Deborah Yaffe

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By Deborah Yaffe, Mar 17 2014 01:00PM

The tirelessly energetic, not-yet-two-year-old Jane Austen Book Club of Mumbai, India, has issued its first publication, a forty-page booklet titled “Timeless Austen.” (The contents are not online, but you can see the cover here.)


I’m delighted to be among the contributors, an eclectic mix of lay Janeites that includes an investment banker, a mechanical engineer, a high school theater teacher and a couple of teenagers, including club founder Anvita Budhraja.


Many of the articles focus on last year’s celebration of the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice, or this year’s commemoration of the same milestone for Mansfield Park. Congratulations to the Indian Janeites on reaching a milestone of their own!


By Deborah Yaffe, May 13 2013 01:00PM

How awesome is this? A sixteen-year-old girl in Mumbai, India, has founded the city’s first Jane Austen club. "I've been fascinated by Austen since the seventh grade,” Anvita Budhraja said.


The club launched with a Jane Austen birthday celebration last December; since then, moving with impressive speed, they’ve already held a panel on Austen’s contemporary relevance, a fan fiction contest, a discussion pegged to the two hundredth anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, and an outreach event for high school students. You can’t beat the energy level of teenage girls.


Budhraja isn’t the first person to find Austen relevant to contemporary India: we’ve had Bollywood updates of both Emma (“Aisha”) and P&P (“Bride and Prejudice”) and a Tamil film version of Sense and Sensibility (“Kandukondain Kandukondain,” known in English as “I Have Found It”).

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