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1 Beaverton World History- India

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India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India

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India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A New Republic Editors' and Writers' Pick 2012
A New Yorker Contributors' Pick 2012

A portrait of incredible change and economic development, of social and national transformation told through individual lives

The son of an Indian father and an American mother, Akash Kapur spent his formative years in India and his early adulthood in the United States. In 2003, he returned to his birth country for good, eager to be part of its exciting growth and modernization. What he found was a nation even more transformed than he had imagined, where the changes were fundamentally altering Indian society, for better and sometimes for worse.

To further understand these changes, he sought out the Indians experiencing them firsthand. The result is a rich tapestry of lives being altered by economic development, and a fascinating insider's look at many of the most important forces shaping our world today. Much has been written about the rise of Asia and a rebalancing of the global economy, but rarely does one encounter these big stories with the level of nuance and detail that Kapur gives us in India Becoming.

Among the characters we meet are a broker of cows who must adapt his trade to a modernizing economy; a female call center employee whose relatives worry about her values in the city; a feudal landowner who must accept that he will not pass his way of life down to his children; and a career woman who wishes she could "outsource" having a baby.

Through these stories and many others, Kapur provides a fuller understanding of the complexity and often contradictory nature of modern India. India Becoming is particularly noteworthy for its emphasis on rural India-a region often neglected in writing about the country, though 70 percent of the population still lives there. In scenes reminiscent of R. K. Narayan's classic works on the Indian countryside, Kapur builds intimate portraits of farmers, fishermen, and entire villages whose ancient ways of life are crumbling, giving way to an uncertain future that is at once frightening and full of promise. Kapur himself grew up in rural India; his descriptions of change and modernization are infused with a profound-at times deeply poignant- firsthand understanding of the loss that must accompany all development and progress.

India Becoming is essential reading for anyone interested in our changing world and the newly emerging global order. It is a riveting narrative that puts the personal into a broad, relevant and revelational context.

Review:

"Journalist Kapur sets out to tell two parallel stories in this book: 'One is a story of progress,' he writes, the other, 'of the destruction and disruptions caused by the same process of development.' Kapur's own feelings about his native country tend to get overwhelmed by bland nostalgia, but fortunately, to make his point, Kapur focuses on recounting the stories of a wide range of characters he encountered during his research. As his influence and status wanes, Sathy, a rural landowner, wants simply to hold on to comforting rhythms of the old India (much to the annoyance of his progressive wife, who runs her own consulting business in Bangalore). Hari, a high-flying young IT worker, flourishes in the city but struggles with his homosexuality; Selvi, a small-town girl who moved to the city to take a call center job finds her views of Americans changing as she interacts with brusque customers; and Veena, an ambitious divorcee, must balance her aspirations for a career and independence with her desire for a family. Their stories are what give the book its texture and insight, and make it a valuable investigation of the effects of India's fast-paced change on the land and its people. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A New Republic Editors' and Writers' Pick 2012
A New Yorker Contributors' Pick 2012

A Newsweek "Must Read on Modern India"

“For people who savored Katherine Boos 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.

Synopsis:

Akash Kapur has a unique perspective on India. Raised there but educated in the United States from the age of sixteen, this son of an Indian father and an American mother returned to his country of birth for good in 2003, eager to be part of its exciting growth and modernization. What he found was a nation even more transformed than he had imagined, where the changes were fundamentally altering Indian society-for better and for worse.

As he met a number of Indians-young and old, across all classes-he saw how their stories reflected the dilemmas of contemporary India, not just in the urban centers but in rural areas, too, where the process of change was even more layered and complex. Here, he has woven his experience together with the stories of these people, revealing the rich tapestry of India through the eyes and lives of real characters.

Kapur's rare ability to witness India from the vantage point of both insider and outsider allows him to illustrate to a Western audience the moving nuances of India's transformation, in a riveting narrative that puts the personal into a broad, relevant, and revelatory context.

About the Author

Akash Kapur is the former "Letter from India" columnist for the NYTimes.com and the International Herald Tribune. He has also written for The Atlantic, The Economist, Granta, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review. He lives outside Pondicherry in southern India.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594488191
Subtitle:
A Portrait of Life in Modern India
Author:
Kapur, Akash
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
World History - India
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120315
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Asia » General
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Modern
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » India

India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594488191 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Journalist Kapur sets out to tell two parallel stories in this book: 'One is a story of progress,' he writes, the other, 'of the destruction and disruptions caused by the same process of development.' Kapur's own feelings about his native country tend to get overwhelmed by bland nostalgia, but fortunately, to make his point, Kapur focuses on recounting the stories of a wide range of characters he encountered during his research. As his influence and status wanes, Sathy, a rural landowner, wants simply to hold on to comforting rhythms of the old India (much to the annoyance of his progressive wife, who runs her own consulting business in Bangalore). Hari, a high-flying young IT worker, flourishes in the city but struggles with his homosexuality; Selvi, a small-town girl who moved to the city to take a call center job finds her views of Americans changing as she interacts with brusque customers; and Veena, an ambitious divorcee, must balance her aspirations for a career and independence with her desire for a family. Their stories are what give the book its texture and insight, and make it a valuable investigation of the effects of India's fast-paced change on the land and its people. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A New Republic Editors' and Writers' Pick 2012
A New Yorker Contributors' Pick 2012

A Newsweek "Must Read on Modern India"

“For people who savored Katherine Boos 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.

"Synopsis" by , Akash Kapur has a unique perspective on India. Raised there but educated in the United States from the age of sixteen, this son of an Indian father and an American mother returned to his country of birth for good in 2003, eager to be part of its exciting growth and modernization. What he found was a nation even more transformed than he had imagined, where the changes were fundamentally altering Indian society-for better and for worse.

As he met a number of Indians-young and old, across all classes-he saw how their stories reflected the dilemmas of contemporary India, not just in the urban centers but in rural areas, too, where the process of change was even more layered and complex. Here, he has woven his experience together with the stories of these people, revealing the rich tapestry of India through the eyes and lives of real characters.

Kapur's rare ability to witness India from the vantage point of both insider and outsider allows him to illustrate to a Western audience the moving nuances of India's transformation, in a riveting narrative that puts the personal into a broad, relevant, and revelatory context.

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