Gestures, the sole novel of an unknown Canadian writer who died tragically in 2000, is the elegant, beautifully crafted, gripping autobiography of one Jeremy Burnham, career diplomat and English gentleman, who in his 83rd year sits down to write his version of political upheavals, emotional displacements and personal losses encountered in a career spent in the forgotten aGestures, the sole novel of an unknown Canadian writer who died tragically in 2000, is the elegant, beautifully crafted, gripping autobiography of one Jeremy Burnham, career diplomat and English gentleman, who in his 83rd year sits down to write his version of political upheavals, emotional displacements and personal losses encountered in a career spent in the forgotten and superseded sport of diplomacy His story, which in so many ways captures the flux and turmoil of the last century, begins in Venice in the twenties, just as the Fascists are taking over the government, and ends in war torn Amsterdam, desperate and destitute after the Allied victory.
Gestures Gestures the sole novel of an unknown Canadian writer who died tragically in is the elegant beautifully crafted gripping autobiography of one Jeremy Burnham career diplomat and English gentl

  • Title: Gestures
  • Author: H.S. Bhabra
  • ISBN: 9781567922356
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Paperback
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      Published :2018-07-25T11:01:29+00:00

    About the Author

    H.S. Bhabra

    Hargurchet Singh Bhabra June 7, 1955 June 1, 2000 was a British Asian writer and broadcaster who settled in Canada.Bhabra was born in Mumbai, India and moved to England with his family in 1957 The family eventually settled in Beare Green, Surrey From 1966 to 1973, Bhabra attended Reigate Grammar School 1 He was the only boy of Asian origin in the school, was highly regarded by his teachers, and an accomplished actor in school productions such as Much Ado about Nothing Bhabra worked for six years in financial advertisng in the City of London In 1984, he resigned to complete Gestures, a novel on which he had been working for years He travelled and worked as a correspondent for a few years, which provided material for his career as a writer of fiction, under his own name and also as A M Kabal and John Ford Gestures won a Betty Trask Award in 1987 It has been described thus With extraordinary force and subtlety, Gestures conducts the funeral rite over an entire way of life a liberal, human, European culture which has finally disappeared The lines could stand as an epitaph for Bhabra himself Infused with his own erudition, elegance and empathy, it was also and to a great degree an expression of his own sense of displacement Indeed, although he published in quick succession three thrillers The Adversary 1986 and Bad Money 1987 , and Zero Yield the next few years were spent largely on travels to Egypt, Mexico and Latin America.In 1989, Bhabra was awarded the first Fulbright Chandler Fellowship in Spy and Detective Fiction Writing This prize included a post as writer in residence at the University of California, Los Angeles for one year Bhabra stayed on in Los Angeles from 1991 to 1993, hoping to earn money as a scriptwriter That did not work out, however, though his fund of esoteric knowledge did help him win a handsome sum as a contestant on a television quiz show, Jeopardy, an accomplishment of which he remained proud While there, he also developed an obsession with climbing bridges, which led to his arrest while making an assault on the Golden Gate, San Francisco Bhabra also taught at Amherst College in Massachusetts.In 1994 Bhabra moved to Toronto, where his parents now lived In Canada, Bhabra was perceived as an Asian Canadian writer and broadcaster He taught at the Humber School for Writers at Humber College and then joined TVOntario as co host, with Marni Jackson, of the book show Imprint from 1995 to 1997 Knowledgeable and intelligent, Bhabra had interests ranging from food and fashion to films and books His contract with Imprint was not renewed after the 1997 season.After leaving Imprint, Bhabra struggled to make ends meet with occasional freelance magazine and television work Television projects included the show Starting Up , about the challenges and rewards of opening a business, which he created and produced for TVO Bhabra also embarked on an ambitious fiction quartet South, West, North, and East By the spring of 1999, Bhabra had completed a draft of the first chapter of the first novel, South, a draft which failed to lead to the publishing contract he hoped for and much needed, in order to support himself financially When opportunities at TVO dried up, Bhabra joined TFO, the French language channel, where he worked, for a short time, on a new arts show, zone Bhabra left TFO in late 1999 as a result of artistic differences He was sustained, during these years, by the support of his partner, Vee Ledson, daughter of educator Sidney Ledson Bhabra had encouraged Ledson to pursue her dream of running her own school, Laurel Academy, which she established in Toronto in 1995.On 1 June 2000, a week before his 45th birthday, he killed himself by jumping off the Prince Edward Viaduct on Toronto s Bloor Street Alas, none around him knew of his debilitating writer s block in the months and weeks leading up to his death, Bhabra had led some of those close

    191 Comment

    • Brana said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Retko dobra knjiga. Ne može se čitati paralelno s nekoliko drugih, kao što je moj običaj, nego joj se čovek mora posvetiti, otuda sam toliko razvukla s ovim naslovom. Tako lep engleski jezik odavno nisam srela u savremenoj književnosti, uistinu veliko uživanje. Ubeđena sam da mnogo gubi u prevodu, jer je jezik ovde hotimično i svesno stožer predstavljanja jedne kulture, ne samo sredstvo izraza. Čitanje ove knjige podseća na davno, već zaboravljeno iskustvo mladog, gladnog, spontanog [...]

    • Catherine Gentile said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      As I read Gestures, I was transported to the Venice its elegance, mystery, and intrigue. Bhabra's writes about power politics, antisemitism, society as it is and as it should aspire to be. It is a study of mankind elevated, fallen, and struggling. The complexity of the work riveted and inspired me. My only regret is that Bhabra died early in his life. How I would have loved to know more about this author and to have read more of his work.

    • Amari said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Courageous, gently tragic, humanistic. I can't understand how this, the fictional memoir of an 83-year-old, with all of the wisdom one would expect therein, could have been published by the time the author was 31. It would be breathtaking if it had been written by an 83-year-old, but it seem really an impossible feat for someone so young. How did he do it?This book was like a second life unfolding in my mind during the days I read it. It is just like life, and (when dealing with death) just like [...]

    • Beverly Atkinson said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      I almost didn't stick with this book, but the characters (Anthony, Jane, Eva, Jeremy, Elena, etc.), settings (Vienna, Amsterdam), and times (the devastations of The Great War and WW II) as Bhabra told this tale in minute and passionate detail compelled me. I began reading it about 3-4 weeks ago and just finished it!

    • J.R. Rogers said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      A quite extraordinary novel, despite it's less than contemporary theme, utterly believable and just about impossible to put down and I ached for more. Beautifully written, it is without a doubt one of the most impressive novels that I have read in quite some time.

    • Jane said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      What an elegant book, harking back to a time of sheer civility and normalcy, maintained at all cost while the world is collapsing into uncharted madness. Set in the life of a quiet British diplomat, first in pre-war Venice (1923) with the evil rumblings of Mussolini's fascism just beginning, and then on to post-war Amsterdam ( 1946), as the hunt for collaborators and war criminals heats up among the chaos of a Europe in immediate recovery from war. The story was engaging, and the writing even be [...]

    • Ann said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Excellent writing. Bhabra is superb at creating a time and place (Venice, Amsterdam etc.) and a period: the Fascist rise in Italy in the twenties, as well as the immediate year or two after the Second World War. I hadn't thought about the awful devastation that the victors had to deal with---how to keep European nations from starving in the first winter, for example, or deal with destroyed infrastructure.Rivaling the war in its devastation was the power that corruption can wield on vulnerable pe [...]

    • Deborah said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Very self-conscious work, and I who am duped by Agatha Christie and every imitator discerned the denouement a third of the way in. I am also of the author's generation, and cultural class, and recognise his not-quite successful literary attempt to objectify, historicise, and monetise the intellectual's disillusionment. Fascination, and eroticisation, of money and power. I get that too.Of course, this reading is informed by what I know of his biography. And my own experience.If you like that Muri [...]

    • Julia Newton said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      This book is a slow one to read but worth persisting. The settings, Venice in the 20s and postwar Amsterdam, are fascinating, the mystery of the characters he meets is only revealed at the end and the character of Jeremy Burnham, a British Consul and the book's narrator, is intriguing. It also gives an insight into those difficult years, in pre-Fascist Italy and brutal post-war Europe. It took me three weeks to read but was worth the effort.

    • Cynthia said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Thought provoking. Difficult reading. Stilted old fashioned language. Bears re-reading. 80 year old, Jeremy Burnham, remembering his diplomatic career and the story/mystery of 2 minor characters in his life. Anthony Manet, Eva (Altdoorp), Elena (Altdoorp), Jayne Carlysle. Theme of human enterprise more powerful/important than humans…

    • Marilyn Saul said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      I enjoyed Bhabra's writing style, though it got really sluggish after the first 1/4 and didn't pick up until the last 1/4. In fact, I can't remember much of anything in the middle. The ending was intriguing and now I'm thinking about digging out my copy of Faust (which is what he originally wanted to call the book).

    • Catarina said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Luscious. Makes me want to don a big hat and move to fascist-era Venice.

    • Susan said:
      Oct 18, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Brilliant novel tragic that an author of such talent is no longer.

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