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Unreal India

New books on India offer brilliant reporting, despite crude conclusions

By Anjali Joseph   August 2012

Recent books have tried to capture the essence of India—but is it possible to draw conclusions from a country of a billion people?

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Slum By Katherine Boo (Granta, £14.99)

India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India By Akash Kapur (Riverhead, £17)

Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast By Samanth Subramanian (Atlantic, £12.99)

For a certain type of Indian novelist writing in English, the idea of India is both blessing and scourge. A blessing in terms of readership, for since the country has come to be considered…

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