Oscar-Winning Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dead at 85

She worked with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory on 22 films including "Howard's End" and "A Room With a View"

Writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose scripts for "Howards End" and "A Room With A View" earned her Oscars, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

She made more than 20 films with producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory over 40 years.a

Getty ImagesShe also won the Booker Prize for her 1975 novel "Heat and Dust."

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Born into a Jewish family, her family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 to begin a new life in Britain. After meeting her future husband in London, Jhabvala moved with him to his native India in the 1950s. She was visited there by Merchant and Ivory who wanted to make a film of her 1960 novel "The Householder." She agreed, and a partnership that would last four decades was begun.

The trio's films included "A Room With a View" and "Howards End," for which Jhabvala received the Academy Award in 1987 and 1993 respectively. Both were adapted from novels by E.M. Forster.

Jhabvala had been suffering from a pulmonary disorder and is survived by husband Cyrus and daughters Renana, Ava and Firoza-Bibi.