Synopses & Reviews
Andrzej Stasiuk is a restless and indefatigable traveler. His journeys take him from his native Poland to Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Moldova, and Ukraine. By car, train, bus, ferry. To small towns and villages with unfamiliar-sounding yet strangely evocative names. and#8220;The heart of my Europe,and#8221; Stasiuk tells us, and#8220;beats in Sokolow, Podlaski, and in Husi, not in Vienna.and#8221;and#160;
Where did Moldova end and Transylvania begin, he wonders as he is being driven at breakneck speed in an ancient Audiand#8212;loose wires hanging from the dashboardand#8212;by a driver in shorts and bare feet, a cross swinging on his chest. In Comrat, a funeral procession moves slowly down the main street, the open coffin on a pickup truck, an old woman dressed in black brushing away the flies above the face of the deceased. On to Soroca, a baroque-Byzantine-Tatar-Turkish encampment, to meet Gypsies. And all the way to Babadag, between the Baltic Coast and the Black Sea, where Stasiuk sees his first minaret, and#8220;simple and severe, a pencil pointed at the sky.and#8221;and#160;
A brilliant tour of Europeand#8217;s dark undersideand#8212;travel writing at its very best.
This brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people--a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself--is from an award-winning Indian journalist and fiction writer.
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insiders view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs; following the life of a bar dancer raised amid poverty and abuse; opening the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood; and delving into the stories of the countless villagers who come in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks.
A brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people-a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself-from an award-winning Indian-American fiction writer and journalist.
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us a true insider's view of this stunning city, bringing to his account a rare level of insight, detail, and intimacy. He approaches the city from unexpected angles-taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs who wrest control of the city's byzantine political and commercial systems . . . following the life of a bar dancer who chose the only life available to her after a childhood of poverty and abuse . . . opening the doors onto the fantastic, hierarchical inner sanctums of Bollywood . . . delving into the stories of the countless people who come from the villages in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks-the essential saga of a great city endlessly played out.
Through it all-as each individual story unfolds-we hear Mehta's own story: of the mixture of love, frustration, fascination, and intense identification he feels for and with Bombay, as he tries to find home again after twenty-one years abroad. And he makes clear that Bombay-the world's largest city-is a harbinger of the vast megalopolises that will redefine the very idea of "the city" in the near future.
Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, "Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.
"From the Hardcover edition.
A collection of travel narratives from Central and Eastern Europe by award-winning Polish author Andrzej Stasiuk
About the Author
Suketu Mehta is a fiction writer and journalist based in New York. He has won the Whiting Writers Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehtas other work has been published in the New York Times Magazine
, Condé Nast Traveler
, and The Village Voice
, and has been featured on National Public Radios All Things Considered
. Mehta also cowrote Mission Kashmir
, a Bollywood movie.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
PART ONE * POWER
—The Country of the No
—The 1992-93 Riots
Number Two After Scotland Yard
—Ajay Lal: The Blasts and the Gangwar
—Mohsin: The D-Company
—Satish: The Dal Badlu
—Chotta Shakeel: The Don in Exile
PART TWO * PLEASURE
Vadapav Eaters City
A City in Heat
—Two Lives: Honey/Manoj
—New Years Eve
Distilleries of Pleasure
—Vidhu Vinod Chopra: Mission Kashmir
—Mahesh Bhatts Wound
—The Struggler and the Goddess
—Accused: Sanjay Dutt
PART THREE * PASSAGES
—Mayur Mahal Multipurpose
—A World of Children
Sone ki Chidiya
—Girish: A Tourist in His City
—Babbanji: Runaway Poet
A Self in the Crowd