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Pears from the Willow Tree [a novel]

Violet Dias Lannoy, edited by C.L. Innes, with an introduction by Richard Lannoy and an afterword by Peter Nazareth
ISBN: 978-0-89410-564-7
ISBN: 978-0-89410-565-4
1989/246 pages


Seb, the protagonist of this Goan-Indian novel, is a member of the Indian “lost generation” caught between cultures, religions, and epochs. Struggling against the Western-style materialism and spiritual corruption he sees everywhere in the postimperial era, he becomes a teacher at a Gandhian-inspired school in the interior. There, both he and his “slow” students embark on a journey of self-discovery. The book poignantly conveys Lannoy’s belief that, while broader and deeper knowledge might lead most immediately to the discovery of tragedy and injustice, it can also open new worlds and lead to a better future.

A glossary acquaints the reader with Indian and Goan customs and traditions, and a biographical essay by the author’s husband, Richard Lannoy, introduces the novel. Peter Nazareth, who “discovered” the work, has provided a critical afterword.


Violet Dias Lannoy (1925–1972) was born in Mozambique and raised in a Goan Roman Catholic family. After receiving a degree in educational psychology from the University of London, she embarked on a career as teacher, writer, and activist. She traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and India, and her writing reflects diverse geographical, cultural, and philosophical influences. She became involved in the Goan liberation movement and, like Seb, was strongly influenced by Gandhi.