Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography by Ruskin Bond Review
Nothing is better than reading an autobiography of an author and that too Ruskin Bond who has entertained and charmed his reades for decades and has written books for every age group. Lone Fox Dancing is the autobiography of Ruskin Bond which will be releasing by June 2017.
He begins with a dream and a gentle haunting, before taking us to an idyllic childhood in Jamnagar by the Arabian Sea—where he composed his first poem—and New Delhi in the early 1940s—where he found material for his first short story. It was a brief period of happiness that ended with his parents’ separation and the untimely death of his beloved father. A search for companionship and security, undercut by a fierce independence and a tendency for risk-taking, would inform every choice he made for the rest of his life.
With effortless intimacy and candour, Bond recalls his boarding school days in Shimla and winter holidays in Dehradun, when he tried to come to terms with a sense of abandonment, made friends, discovered great books and found his true calling. Determined to be a writer, he spent four difficult years in England, from 1951 to 1955 and he writes poignantly of his loneliness there, even as he kept his promise to himself and produced a book—the classic novel of adolescence, The Room on the Roof. It was born of his longing for ‘the atmosphere that was India’—the home he would return to even before the novel was published, taking a gamble that would prove to be the best decision he made.
In the final, glorious section of the autobiography, he writes about losing his restlessness and settling down in the hills of Mussoorie, surrounded by generous trees, mist and sunshine, birdsong, elusive big cats, new friends and eccentrics—and a family that grew around him and made him its own. Full of anecdote, warmth and gentle wit; often deeply moving and always with a magnificent sense of time and place—and containing over fifty photographs, some of them never seen before Lone Fox Dancing is a book of understated, enduring magic, like Ruskin Bond himself.