NPR: Modi’s rise through the lens of literature

A short segment (part recorded, part written) on NPR’s All Things Considered: What V. S. Naipaul’s India: A Million Mutinies Now tells us about Modi’s election as India’s new Prime Minister.


When I think of what just happened in Indian politics, I think about a book I first read some 24 years ago. That book was India: A Million Mutinies Now, by the Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul. Naipaul traveled through India in the late ’80s; he wrote before the economic reforms of the ’90s, before the social transformations of the new millennium.

But Naipaul was prescient. In a series of incisive portraits, he captured the incipient hopes and ambitions of the Indian people. He wrote detailed character sketches of businessmen, stockbrokers, politicians, women breaking free from oppressive traditions. Naipaul described these people — ordinary people — finding a new voice and identity. He wrote that they were discovering “the idea of freedom.”

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More Media Roundup

India Becoming received a nice review in The Pioneer newspaper, and I enjoyed this conversation with Sebastien Cortes in The Oberoi Group Magazine. The Times of India also ran this conversation with Dr. Srijana Mitra Das. Also, a couple pieces on India Becoming in the Kochi editions of The Hindu and The Indian Express.

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More Best of 2012 Books

India Becoming features on two more “Best of 2012″ books. Isaac Chotiner includes it in his list for The New Republic, and Sudeep Sen in his list for The Indian Express. Meanwhile, here is my own Best of 2012 selection that ran in The Hindustan Times.

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More media coverage

Some more media coverage of India Becoming. Tishani Doshi writes a very nice piece in The Indian Express, Businessworld runs a generous review, and The Hindu runs this interview. Also, Conde Nast Traveller (the UK edition) has this piece on Pondicherry that mentions the book.

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India Becoming on NDTV

I recently had the privilege of a conversation with Sunil Sethi on Just Books, his long-running program on NDTV. The segment on India Becoming starts at about the 12th minute.

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India Becoming a New Yorker “Best Books of 2012″ selection

India Becoming has been included on the list of The New Yorker‘s “Best Books of 2012.” Thanks to Evan Osnos, The New Yorker‘s excellent Beijing Correspondent, for choosing the book. There are some great other books on this list, too–some of which I know, and some which I certainly intend to read.

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Indian Media Roundup, Part 2

A lot to include in this second India media roundup for India Becoming. The Financial Express runs this nice review, The Indian Express does a profile/review, and Tehelka an interview.The PTI wire service also does a review/interview and The Hindu does a “Table for Two” feature (in which I announce my conversion to flexitarianism!). And finally, this photo essay feature from the online portal SIFY.

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Indian media roundup for India Becoming, Part 1

A roundup of some recent media from the Indian launch of Indian Becoming. Outlook carried this generous review, and The Hindustan Times had this nice writeup. See also these two (1,2) pieces from The Hindu, these two (1, 2) from The Times of India, and this one from The Indian Express. Stay tuned for more roundups soon…

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Huffington Post on India Becoming

A small but generous mention of India Becoming in The Huffington Post. Anis Shivani calls it “gorgeously written.” His essay is really about several recent non-fiction books on India. I highly recommend the others he mentions…

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An essay in Time magazine’s special on India

Time magazine’s special issue on “Reinventing India” hits the newsstands today, and my opening essay, “In Search of a New India,” is in it. I argue that India is at an “inflection point—increasingly disenchanted with its current trajectory, aware of the limitations in its current model of development, yet still grasping for a new model.”

The article is unfortunately only available online to subscribers, so you might have to pick up a copy at the newsstand.

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