“Lucid, balanced… Kapur is determinedly fair-minded, neither an apologist nor a scold, and he is a wonderfully empathetic listener.” —The New York Times Book Review Read full article
“Impressively lucid and searching… In his clarity, sympathy and impeccably sculpted prose, Kapur often summons the spirit of V. S. Naipaul.” —Pico Iyer, Time magazine Read full article
“There are many virtues of Akash Kapur’s beautifully sketched portrait of modern India. The book reads like a novel. Kapur’s skill is to get people talking and to weave their stories into a necessarily messy debate about India’s future.” — The Financial Times
“[R]eadable, acutely observed and crammed with well-drawn characters… Mr Kapur offers a corrective to a simplistic “new, happy narrative” of a rising India. That is welcome and he does it well.” —The Economist
“This takes, wisely, a humble approach: instead of trying to encapsulate the entirety of India’s changes, it follows a few lives along the idiosyncratic ways they develop.” — Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, Best Books of 2012
“Kapur…is an excellent ambassador to explain the dynamic of change in India, what the nation is becoming. Any reader who would like to understand the country better would do well to give him a read.” — The Daily Beast (a “Nonfiction Must Read”)
“A remarkably absorbing account of an India in transition–full of challenges and contradictions, but also of expectations, hope, and ultimately optimism.”
—Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, author of Development as Freedom
“A wonderful writer: a courageously clear-eyed observer, an astute listener, a masterful portraitist, and a gripping story teller.”
—Philip Gourevitch, author of We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families
“Marvelous… Sharp-eyed, insightful, skillfully-sketched and beautifully written, India Becoming is the remarkable debut of a distinctive new talent.”
—William Dalrymple, author of Nine Lives
More Praise for India Becoming–>
Here’s a quick roundup of some radio and TV from the French release of India Becoming.
France24 did a TV interview in French and English.
Jean Lebrun did a fun interview on France Inter (some fascinating audio clips from earlier decades in India).
I was also part of panel discussions on Radio France Internationale, titled “Quelle Inde pour demain?”
And another panel discussion on France Culture, titled “L’Inde a-t-elle grandi trop vite ?”
A short written and recorded segment from National Public Radio, All Things Considered: India’s election through the prism of literature. I chose V S Naipaul’s India: A Million Mutinies Now to talk about the significance of Modi’s election.
Audio clip here
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.”
In many ways, that idea — a sense of self-confidence, of individual self-expression — has found shape in Modi’s election.
India Becoming has been named to the shortlist for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. There are some excellent books on this list, and I’m honored to be on it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…