The Beautiful and the Damned

The Beautiful and the Damned

A Portrait of the New India

eBook - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
The one book you need on the New India.

In 2004, after six years in New York, Siddhartha Deb returned to India to look for a job. He discovered that sweeping change had overtaken the country. With the globalization of its economy, the relaxation of trade rules, the growth in technology, and the shrinking down of the state, a new India was being born. Deb realised he had found his job: to explore this vast, complex and bewildering nation and try to make sense of what was underway.

The Beautiful and the Damned is the triumphant outcome. It is a virtuosic work that combines personal narrative, travalogue, reportage, penetrating analysis, and the stories of many individuals across a vast range of geographical and social cicumstances.

Deb talks to the great and good and those in charge, but listens as intently to the worker at the call centre remaking herself from her provincial upbringings and the migrant sweatshop worker trying to make his way in the city. By listening to the stories of the people he meets and works alongside (the author did his time on the phones at a call centre) Deb shows how people caught in the midstream of these changes actually experience them.

Visiting the metropolises, small towns, and villages, as well as both gated suburban communities and camps for displaced peasants, Deb offers a panoramic view of the changes in landscape and urban geography, creating an epic narrative of the people who make up the world's second-most populous (and soon to be the most populous) nation. This is a work of social reportage that presents the reader with the fullest and most enlighteing picture of a diverse, emerging superpower.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, 2011
ISBN: 9780307368058
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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debwalker Aug 29, 2011

"The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of New India, comes after two highly acclaimed novels (The Point of Return and Surface), and focuses on something as simple as five characters. Although categorized by the publisher as “Social Science – Business Affairs,” it reads more like a nonfiction novel, that all-encompassing fuzzy genre.

“Everywhere there seemed to be construction and ruin, hard to distinguish from each other.”

The book begins in 2004 (when the right-wing Hindu party, BJP, was about to lose power), but it really carries echoes of a dozen odd years 1998 onwards."
Jaspreet Singh
Globe and Mail

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