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India in Mind Paperback – January 4, 2005

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India in Mind + Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond + An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (January 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375727450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727450
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Mishra's innovative approach to Indian history and literary expertise are evident in his powerful book about Buddhism, An End to Suffering (see starred review on p.692), and in this brilliantly constructed anthology. Mishra has a particular interest in how outsiders perceive India, his vast and vastly diverse homeland, and accordingly he has selected a superb and unpredictable set of writings by inspired visitors (many of whom were outsiders even in their own worlds) to India past and present. Paul Bowles offers lush descriptions of the countryside; recounts his brief, harrowing incarceration on suspicion of espionage; and muses on cow worship. Bruce Chatwin reports on a wolf boy. Excerpts from Allen Ginsberg's Indian Journals record his 1962 sojourn in Benares. Here, too, are Hermann Hesse, Peter Matthiessen, Jan Morris, George Orwell, Octavio Paz, Paul Scott, and Gore Vidal. Superbly written, frank, and revealing both of themselves and of the bit of India they internalized, the chroniclers of India Mishra has so thoughtfully assembled create a spectrum of mental weather ranging from blazing sunshine to impenetrable shadows. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969 and now lives in London and India. He is the author of The Romantics, which won the Los Angeles Times’s Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, Granta, and The Times Literary Supplement.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "KB" Kamla Srinivasan on May 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
India is certainly on many people's mind at the moment, what with the flattening of the world (due apologies to Tom Friedman). In a sense, the timing of this book is perfect. What captured my attention was the title of the book, but alas not all of the essays in this book captured my attention for at times my mind wandered off.

This anthology on India is a vivid, multicolored collection of writings, musings, poems by 25 well-known writers ranging from Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell to Mark Twain and Gore Vidal.

This book gives us a view of how India was perceived and written by each of these writers right from the 19th century to present day. The reactions that India revokes are "complex, ranging from awe and wonder to repulsion and rejection," as Pankaj Mishra describes in his introduction to this anthology.

I enjoyed reading Mark Twain's chapter of India from his "Following the Equator," book. It is very clear from Twain's writings that he must have been a good listener, and a keen observer of people and customs for his description of the Parsee community in India is filled with interesting little details. I particularly enjoyed reading his description of the quaint India custom of getting a "bearer" or a manservant.

Somerset Maugham's piece was a tad disappointing since it read more like a journal entry with descriptions of people and places like Goa, vina player, the priest and so on. However, I got some great insights and ideas on how to write and maintain a good travel journal. Thank you Mr. Maugham!

It was Paul Bowles essay that I enjoyed reading the most and I could almost feel the heat, and the sweat pouring down my face when I read about his stay in a hotel room during a power failure.
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