India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India (Anglais) Relié – 15 mars 2012
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“There are many virtues of Akash Kapur’s beautifully sketched portrait of modern India….The book inhabits parts of India we do not explore often enough, the India of the south and of the transforming countryside. Mostly, it takes us into the minds and hearts of Indians seeking to adapt to a society changing at disconcerting speed…. 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
"Impressively lucid and searching . . . In his clarity, sympathy and impeccably sculpted prose, Kapur often summons the spirit of V.S. Naipaul." —Pico Iyer, Time
“Kapur himself, with one leg in the East and one in the West, 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.”—Daily Beast
"Kapur has a fluency that outsiders—even those of us with a genetic tie—lack”—The New Republic
“[A] Lively, anecdotal look at the people who have been vastly changed by the entrepreneurial explosion in India. . . . An honest, conflicted glimpse of a country.”—Kirkus
Présentation de l'éditeur
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.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Although all the characters are strong-willed, some are naïve, some are ill-prepared and some are very wise, their stories reveal how contemporary economic developments are creating new opportunities and new challenges for some, while affecting the lives of everyone.
The basic take away from this book is that urban India is expanding. That is, people from the nearby villages with some education and drive are moving into the cities, and concurrently, cities are encroaching into neighboring villages. Most of these people from the villages are ill-prepared to handle the modes of city life, and their cultural norms that once protected them in the village are a hindrance to successfully negotiate the challenges of city life. Further, as cities intrude into neighboring villages, village life and village modes are breaking and the solitary beauty of rural India is being displaced by environmental chaos.
A secondary underlying theme is that the market economy is not being managed by good government, the rule of ‘gundagari’ has replaced yesterday’s license raj.
Detailed views of lives of people who have been affected by the Americanization of Indian culture and work ethics and opportunities
The far reaching impacts of the new culture an New opportunities
The ones who got left behind
And the some who just don't want to be a part of this new revolution
So in effect a detailed look at the changing mindset and lives of a few subjects whom the author follows and builds their life story around and in his book
But a little too detailed in terms of introspection from that subjective view
I couldn't finish the book
Maybe someone else will
What does come across quite clearly is the author's skill at building relationships. He earns these people's trust and comes back to them again and again through the book's pages. I especially liked the stories involving Sathy, struggling with a world in which his position as the head of a leading family in a small town means less and less, and Hari, struggling with his sexuality in world pressuring him to follow the path of traditional marriage.
Kapur eventually comes to see the insidious effects of the transformation: "Development, I came to understand, was a form of creative destruction. For everyone whose life was being regenerated or rejuvenated in modern India, there was someone, as well, whose life was being destroyed."
Ultimately, it's a split decision: Kapur reveals that "I had returned from America full of enthusiasm. I celebrated what I saw as the rejuvenation of my home. Later, the enthusiasm started seeming naive, the rejuvenation something of an illusion. My optimism turned to skepticism, occasionally to despair. Now it seemed to me that I had perhaps rushed to judgment on both occasions-- that my initial, positive reaction was as hasty as my later, negative one."
If you 'touch' India at all (and anyone in IT does in one way or another), this book is a fascinating read.
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