Gone Away is an autobiographical account of three months spent in the Indian subcontinent at the time of the Chinese incursions on the Tibetan border in 1959.
It is full of memorable moments; an audience with Nehru; one of the first ever interviews with the Dalai Lama, aged 23, in Delhi; and a death-bed meeting with the great Nepalese poet, Devkota. Nirad Chaudhuri, Buddhadeva Bose and Jayaprakash Narayan are just a few of the many prominent writers and politicians that Moraes encounters on his travels.
At Sikkim, on the Tibetan border, he makes his way by jeep right up to the frontier, runs into a Chinese detachment and is shot at, but escapes to safety.
Gone Away is full of humour, eccentricity and the excitement of travel, yet it is also succeeds in capturing the mood of mid 20th century India and illuminating the subcontinent’s rich socio-cultural history.
Dominic Francis Moraes (1938 – 2004) was an Indian writer and poet, born in Bombay (Mumbai). He published nearly thirty books in his lifetime and is seen as a foundational figure in Indian English literature.
“Entertaining, intelligent, irreverent [and] unexpected” E. M. Forster, in The Observer