Anita Desai paints an intimate portrait of lives impacted by the quest for identity and purpose. Deven, a Hindi lecturer in small-town Mirpore, lives a humdrum existence. A chance to interview Nur - India's greatest living Urdu poet - offers him an escape from his dreary life. But the Nur he meets is an enfeebled man, surrounded by clashing wives and preying sycophants. Deven's decision to be the custodian of Nur's verse gives birth to an unusual alliance between the two. Stimulating and thought provoking, In Custody is a brilliant parable lamenting the gradual corrosion of culture and tradition in the face of modernity, and a dazzling study of the complexity of human relationships.