Godden, Rumer (Margaret Rumer Godden)gŏdˈən, 1907–98, English novelist. Godden was highly praised for the subtlety of her characterization (particularly of children), the charm of her style, and her unflinching focus on characters usually considered marginal. Many of her novels reflect her deep knowledge of India, where she spent her childhood and much of her young adulthood. Her some 70 novels include Black Narcissus (1939), Breakfast with the Nikolides (1942), The River (1946), Greengage Summer (1958), The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1963), In This House of Brede (1969), about life in a Roman Catholic convent in England, The Dark Horse (1981), and Coromandel Sea Change (1991); several were made into successful movies. Other writings include short stories, children's books, and the autobiographies A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep (1987) and A House with Four Rooms (1989). Her sister Jon Godden, 1908–84, wrote two novels— In The Sun (1965) and Mrs. Starr Lives Alone (1971)—and collaborated with her sister on Two Under the Indian Sun (1966), about their childhood, and Shiva's Pigeons (1971), a study of India.
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