4 Apr 2013

Author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala dies

12:00 pm on 4 April 2013

The novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has died at the age of 85.

Jhabvala won the Booker Prize for her 1975 novel Heat and Dust but was more known for her long association with the film-makers Merchant and Ivory.

She won Oscars for the scripts she wrote for their films Howards End and A Room With A View, and was the only person to have won an Oscar and the Booker.

Born in Germany, she fled the Nazis as a schoolgirl and spent much of her life in India. She died at home in New York.

Jhabvala's former publisher Nick Perren paid tribute to the author, telling the BBC: "She gave the impression of being quite withdrawn but she was extraordinarily interested in people.

"She was an accurate commentator on the world around her."

Mr Perren said she had the rare gift of observation that comes from people born into a completely different culture who have had to learn a new language.