Review in The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast selects India Becoming as a “Nonfiction Must Read.”  A nice review–although I confess to being a bit shocked that I’m referred to as a “veteran journalist.”

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India Becoming in the WSJ

I’m posting this late, but the Wall Street Journal ran a Q&A with me about India Becoming.  I just realized that I used the word “intensity” three times in the last two answers.

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The New Republic on India Becoming

The New Republic reviews India Becoming. A thoughtful essay by Alexandra Sage Mehta on what she calls “the reverse commute.” Look forward to reading her book.

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Book launch at The Asia Society

India Becoming was officially launched on March 15th at The Asia Society in New York.  See my reading and conversation here with Philip Gourevitch.

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India Becoming on the Leonard Lopate Show

On March 15th, I discussed my new book—and its many themes–with Leonard Lopate on the Leonard Lopate show, in NYC. Listen by clicking here.

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FT reviews India Becoming

David Pilling of The Financial Times has written a very nice–and thoughtful–review of India Becoming.

“There are many virtues of Akash Kapur’s beautifully sketched portrait of modern India,” he writes. “The greatest of them is ambivalence. Kapur is ambivalent about the trade-offs between the disappearing certainties of India’s countryside and the roller-coaster possibilities of its cities. He is ambivalent about changes that have released people from social bondage but have uncorked thuggery, greed and vacuous consumerism. He is ambivalent about whether to be swept up by India’s startling growth or fearful of the searing inequalities and environmental degradation on which it appears to be based.

He concludes: “The novelistic approach allows for these changes of mood and perspective. Kapur’s skill is to get people talking and to weave their stories into a necessarily messy debate about India’s future. There is loss as well as anticipation. People are beggared and despoiled even as others claw out of the mud.

“In the final pages Kapur is partially reconciled to India’s duality, to the “delicate dance between destruction and creativity”. India’s becoming is, in the end, both tragic and uplifting.”

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Time magazine on India Becoming

Pico Iyer has a great column in a recent issue of Time that highlights India Becoming. “Impressively lucid and searching,” he calls the book. “In his clarity, sympathy and impeccably sculpted prose, Kapur often summons the spirit of V.S. Naipaul.”

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Depressing: India has world’s most toxic air

According to a recent study by Yale and Columbia universities, India has the most toxic air in the world. The study also produced a composite index of environmental indicators, on which India ranked in the last ten. Depressing, frightening, and rings all too true for many of us who live next to steaming garbage dumps or in over-crowded cities.

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Videos from the Jaipur Lit Fest

Jaipur was a wonderful, over-the-top and amazingly stimulating experience. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. There was a lot more than the Salman Rushdie controversy going on there. Here are two video links of the talks I did, both from Saturday, January 21st.

In the morning, I moderated a discussion with Philip Gourevitch. We talked, among other things, about genocide, political violence, interventionism,  humanitarianism, and narrative non-fiction writing.

In the afternoon, I was on a panel of travel writers reading from their works. I read (last) from India Becoming.

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Further demolishing the Chindia myth

According to a Chinese government report, the country’s urban population for the first time topped 50%. In India, 70% of the population is still rural. Yet another reason why the frequent coupling of these two (future?) world powers is simplistic and mistaken.

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