india's diversity

Aravind Adiga is one of India’s most refreshing contributions to the world of books in recent years. His first novel, a wildly original story of near-mythic proportions, The White Tiger, won the UK’s prestigious Man Booker Prize. His second highlights India’s diversity.

Between the Assassinations is a latticework of fourteen interrelated stories about the people of Kittur, a small town “on India’s southwestern coast, between Goa and Calicut.” The organizing principle of this book is the tourist guide, as each story begins with a walk through one of Kittur’s distinctive neighborhoods, giving the reader a view of the town’s humanity in all its extraordinary diversity. The stories in this collection are set in the tumultuous time in Indian history between the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 and that of her son, Rajiv, seven years later.

Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga ★★★★☆

A casual visitor to India inevitably remarks on the abject poverty to be found among so many of that country’s people. What remains invisible to the tourist comes to life in this remarkable collection of stories: the hopes, fears, doubts, and convictions of India’s poor, and the survival strategies they forge in the midst of challenges the rest of us cannot conceive. As a portrait of caste and class and intercommunal (Hindu-Muslim) relations in modern India, this book truly excels. It’s a lavish introduction to India’s diversity.

For further reading

Some time ago, I read Aravind Adiga’s superb, Booker Award-winning novel, The White Tiger, which won the UK’s prestigious Man Booker Prize. More recently, I’ve reviewed two other novels by the same author:

This is one of the Good books about India, past and present that I’ve reviewed on this site.

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