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Why we read literature is the topic having been debated since time immemorial. Anita Desai’s novel has been interpreted by many critics and scholars from time to time. The present paper discusses the novel In Custody by Anita Desai in light of Susan Sontag’s theory of interpretation. Susan Sontag in her essay Against Interpretation emphasizes on the outer beauty, the pleasure one gets while reading literature. She believes that it is harmful to analyze literature from the scientific approaches or else the work of art is destroyed. The novel concentrates on Deven’s project and a task to interview the Urdu poet Nur and make him known to the outer world. As Urdu language and the poet himself are dying, it gives lots of problems to Deven to accomplish his task. In doing so, Deven is searching a way to satisfy his own self for Urdu poetry as he is a great admirer of Urdu poetry. He faced reality and got frustrated when he found his childhood hero and a great poet Nur in his worst condition. His disillusionment is the core part in the novel where he recognizes true existence of poetry in his own life. Finally he decides to be the guardian of the dying poetry of Nur. He feels the beauty of poetry from within and goes beyond criticism of literature.

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