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India

A Wounded Civilization

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Description

In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency,” V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years earlier. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece: a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by centuries of foreign conquest and immured in a mythic vision of its past.

Drawing on novels, news reports, political memoirs, and his own encounters with ordinary Indians–from a supercilious prince to an engineer constructing housing for Bombay’s homeless–Naipaul captures a vast, mysterious, and agonized continent inaccessible to foreigners and barely visible to its own people. He sees both the burgeoning space program and the 5,000 volunteers chanting mantras to purify a defiled temple; the feudal village autocrat and the Naxalite revolutionaries who combined Maoist rhetoric with ritual murder. Relentless in its vision, thrilling in the keenness of its prose, India: A Wounded Civilization is a work of astonishing insight and candor.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 01, 1991 – Trinidadian journalist-novelist Naipaul stresses that much has changed since his 1962 trip to India, which yielded his darkly pessimistic book India: A Wounded Civilization. In this kaleidoscopic, layered travelogue, he portrays ``a country of a million little mutinies,'' reeling with ``rage and revolt,'' as percolating ideas of freedom shake loose the old moral ethos rooted in caste and class. Despite what he terms regional, religious and sectarian excesses, Naipaul sees possibilities for regeneration in the new freedoms, yet this skewed essay is fraught with bewilderment and sorrow as he reels off a familiar litany of problems--terrible poverty, shoddy manufactured goods, ugly neo-modern architecture, etc.--and comes to terms with his own past: his ancestors were indentured servants of Indian descent. Most interesting here are the dozens of first-person stories by Indians themselves, ranging from a wealthy young stockbroker to anti-religionists to a publisher of women's magazines. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour.
India
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Asia
  • Published: Dec 12, 1977
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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