A New Yorker Contributors’ Pick 2012
A Newsweek “Must Read on Modern India”
“For people who savored Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.”—Evan Osnos, newyorker.com
A portrait of the incredible change and economic development of modern India, and of social and national transformation there told through individual lives
Raised in India, and educated in the U.S., Akash Kapur returned to India in 2003 to raise a family. What he found was an ancient country in transition. In search of the life that he and his wife want to lead, he meets an array of Indians who teach him much about the realities of this changed country: an old landowner sees his rural village destroyed by real estate developments, and crime and corruption breaking down the feudal authority; a 21-year-old single woman and a 35-year-old divorcee exploring the new cultural allowances for women; and a young gay man coming to terms with his sexual identity – something never allowed him a generation ago.
As Akash and his wife struggle to find the right balance between growth and modernity and the simplicity and purity they had known from the Indian countryside a decade ago, they ultimately find a country that “has begun to dream.” But also one that may be moving away too quickly from the valuable ways in which it is different.