- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate; 1 edition (23 November 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 935136982X
- ISBN-13: 978-9351369820
- Product Dimensions: 29 x 20 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,29,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Almost Home: Cities and Other Places Hardcover – 23 Nov 2014
About the Author
GITHA HARIHARAN has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades. Her highly acclaimed work includes The Thousand Faces of Night which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 1993, the short story collection The Art of Dying, and the novels The Ghosts of Vasu Master, When Dreams Travel, In Times of Siege and Fugitive Histories. For more on this Delhi-based author and her work, visit www.githahariharan.com.
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What makes a city ‘home,’ though? Seeking answers, Hariharan, whose debut novel won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, roams across the world, across time, and across perspectives. We visit New York twice, for example—first to the city of the ’70s, when she lived there, and then to the city of 2004 for a comparison. Her far-ranging essays are personal, but also political, carrying us to places like Kashmir, Algeria, and Palestine, hardly seen as bastions of cosmopolitanism. She shows us how despair, fueled by oppression or fanaticism, is combustible.
There are other unexpected detours, such as a visit with the Toda community in the cool hills of Ooty. It makes for an unusual book, giving the essays a diffused focus sometimes. But her preoccupations—history, poverty, landscape, post-colonialism, in addition to travel—keep the writing fresh and revealing. And compassionate. Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, and—especially—Mumbai loom large, although her wanderings have also taken her to Manila, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Copenhagen, etc. Hariharan notes that she would have many answers if somebody asked which city she was from.
Or, she adds, “I could say: Anycity, composite city of visible cities, remembered cities, imagined cities.”