Dom Moraes or Dominic Francis Moraes (19 July 1938 – 2 June 2004) was an Indian writer and poet who wrote in the English language. He published nearly 30 books. Moraes is widely seen as a foundational figure in Indian English literature. His poems are a meaningful and substantial contribution to Indian and World literature.
|Born||Dominic Francis Moraes|
19 July 1938
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
|Died||2 June 2004 (aged 65)|
Bandra, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||poet, novelist, columnist, director|
|Education||Jesus College, Oxford|
|Notable works||A Beginning (1958)|
John Nobody (1965)
My Son's Father (1968)
|Notable awards||Hawthornden Prize (1958)|
Sahitya Akademi Award for English (1994)
|Spouse||Henrietta Moraes (m. 1961)|
Leela Naidu (1969–1992; separated)
|Relatives||Frank Moraes (father)|
Beryl Moraes (mother)
Teresa Albuquerque (aunt)
Dom Moraes was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) to Beryl and Frank Moraes, former editor of The Times of India and later The Indian Express. His aunt was the historian Teresa Albuquerque. He attended the city's St. Mary's School and then left for England to enrol at Jesus College, Oxford.
David Archer published his first collection of poems, A Beginning, in 1957. When he was 19, still an undergraduate, he became the first Indian to win the Hawthornden Prize and was presented with £100 and a silver medal by Lord David Cecil at the Arts Council of Britain on July 10, 1958.
He edited magazines in London, Hong Kong and New York. He became the editor of The Asia Magazine in 1971. He scripted and partially directed over 20 television documentaries for the BBC and ITV. He was a war correspondent in Algeria, Israel and Vietnam. In 1976 he joined the United Nations.
He had a lifelong battle with alcoholism. Moraes suffered from cancer, but refused treatment and died from a heart attack in Bandra, Mumbai. He was buried in the city's Sewri Cemetery and as per his last wishes Sarayu Srivatsa buried the soil from his grave in Odcombe, Somerset, on 19 July 2002 (his birthdate). Many of Dom's old friends and publishers attended the memorial service in Odcombe. A headstone in yellow Jaisalmer stone lies embedded in the front lawn of the Church of St Peter and St Paul to mark the service.
In 1961–62 he was one of the very few public Indian figures to strongly criticize the Indian Army takeover of Goa, land of his forefathers – Daman and Diu from Portuguese India. He tore up his Indian passport on TV in protest. He was later allowed back in the country.
When the Gujarat riots erupted in 2002, with their heavy toll of Muslim dead, Moraes left for Ahmedabad the minute the news came through, saying that since he was a Catholic, Muslims would not see him as an enemy. Even though he was physically in considerable pain by then, he was one of the first on the scene.
In 1956, aged 18, he was courted by Audrey Wendy Abbott. They married in 1961. He left her, according to his close friends in London, but did not divorce her. He had a son, Francis Moraes, with his second wife Judith, whom he divorced and returned to India from England in 1968. In 1969, he married the celebrated Indian actress and beauty Leela Naidu. The two were treated as a star couple, and known across the world for over two decades. Their marriage ended in a separation. For the last 13 years of his life he lived with Sarayu Srivatsa, with whom he co-authored two books.
- 1951: Green is the Grass, a book of cricket essays
- 1957: A Beginning, his first book of poems (winner of the Hawthornden Prize in 1958)
- 1960: Poems, his second book of poems
- 1960: Gone Away: An Indian Journey, memoir
- 1965: John Nobody, his third book of poems
- 1967: Beldam & Others, a pamphlet of verse
- 1968: My Son's Father, autobiography
- 1983: Absences, book of poems
- 1987: Collected Poems: 1957-1987 (Penguin)
- 1990: Serendip (winner of the 1994 Sahitya Akademi Award)
- 1992: Out of God's Oven: Travels in a Fractured Land, co-authored with Sarayu Srivatsa
- 1994: Never at Home, memoir (Penguin)
- 2003: The Long Strider, co-authored with Sarayu Srivatsa
- Heiress to Destiny, biography of Indira Gandhi
- 2012: Selected Poems edited by Ranjit Hoskote (Penguin)
Awards and recognitionsEdit
Appearances in the following poetry AnthologiesEdit
- Indiatoday.in : Celebrated poet discusses his craft and his calling in an interview with Tarun Tejpal.( May 15, 1990 ) Interview: I regret that I didn't write any worthwhile poetry for so long: Dom Moraes
- Brownjohn, Alan (4 June 2004). "Obituary: Dom Moraes". The Guardian. London.
- "Encyclopaedia Britannica , Dom Moraes". britannica.com. britannica.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Everyone knows of Dom Moraes, but many more readers should know his poetry". scroll.in. scroll.in. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Dom Moraes". thetimes.co.uk. thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Dom Moraes". independent.co.uk. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Noronha, Frederick (12 June 2017). "Teresa Albuquerque, Historian of Colonial Bombay and the Goan Diaspora, is No More". The Wire. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "Dom Moraes". modernpoetryintranslation.com. modernpoetryintranslation.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Doherty, Francis (1963). "Poetic Parable: A Note on the Poetry of Dom Moraes". Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review. jstor.org. 52 (206): 205–211. JSTOR 30088567.
- "Hawthornden prize". The Hindu. 12 July 1958. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- "Dom Moraes". telegraph.co.uk. telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "A Requiem To Domsky". outlookindia.com. outlookindia.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Singh, Khushwant (13 October 2007). "Requiem to Dom Moraes". The Tribune.
- "SAHGAL'S PROTEST STEMS FROM HATRED FOR MODI". dailypioneer.com. dailypioneer.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Return of Stranger Dom Moraes". brill.com. brill.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Brilliant young writer, whose star, lauded by bohemian London, dimmed in later life". theguardian.com. theguardian.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "The stranger who found belonging at last". thehindu.com. thehindu.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Bhattacharjee, Sankarlal (2004). "Death and Departure: Meeting Dom Moraes". Indian Literature. jstor.org. 48 (4 (222)): 7–15. JSTOR 23341511.
- "Leela Naidu personified grace and beauty". The Times of India. 29 July 2009.
- James D. Coldham, "Book Reviews", The Cricketer, 31 May 1952, p. 181.
- "Sarayu Srivatsa on Dom Moraes and their Travelogue Out of God's Oven". indianculturalforum.in. indianculturalforum.in. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Never at Home: A breathless account of Dom Moraes' globe-trotting days". indiatoday.in. indiatoday.in. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- "Dom Moraes ( Selected Poems )". exoticindiaart.com. exoticindiaart.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets". cse.iitk.ac.in. cse.iitk.ac.in. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "Book review: 'Twelve Modern Indian Poets' by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra". indiatoday.in. indiatoday.in. Retrieved 23 August 2018.