Deborah Moggach is the author of sixteen successful novels including most recently THESE FOOLISH THINGS and the best-selling TULIP FEVER. No stranger to on-screen entertainment, she wrote the screenplays for the film of “Pride and Prejudice” and TV’s acclaimed “Love in a Cold Climate.” Here, she shares the tale of the beginning of her novel THESE FOOLISH THINGS, which is now hitting the big screen as “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” starring Judi Dench with Word & Film.
I’ve written many novels but this one started somewhat differently. Usually my books are triggered by some conversation, by a painting, by the sight of somebody in the street. This one originated in a big, almost political idea: Who’s going to care for us when we get older? We all know that the developed world has an ageing population and there’s not enough money to pay for us all – we’re living too damn long and we’re going to bankrupt our economy. Mulling this over, I had an idea: We outsource everything else, so why not outsource the elderly? India struck me as the perfect place. It’s warm – very good for arthritic bones; it’s cheap; English is widely spoken; old people are treated with respect there and are part of society, not shunted off into care homes; flights are now very affordable and families are so globalized that grandchildren are just as likely to visit us in India as anywhere else – more so, in fact, as India is so exotic and interesting. Really, what’s not to like?
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