Katherine Boo
My review of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers

I reviewed Katherine Boo’s amazing book Behind the Beautiful Forevers for FT.

May 12, 2012

Life on the edge

Review by Vikas Swarup

A depiction of despair and dreams in an Indian megacity that is as vivid as great fiction

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum, by Katherine Boo,

Portobello, RRP £14.99/ Random House, RRP $27, 288 pages

Katherine Boo’s debut book Behind the Beautiful Forevers derives from a simple premise: that “better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know about ordinary lives”.

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Doing the Nakasendo
Doing the Nakasendo

In the summer of 2011, soon after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit north-eastern Japan, I hiked on the Nakasendo Way, an ancient highway of Japan that connected Kyoto with Tokyo. In its heyday in the seventeenth century, the Nakasendo was crowded with travellers, including feudal lords, who needed to travel to Tokyo to pay tribute to the shogunate, samurai, itinerant merchants and pilgrims. The 500 kilometre inland route, which passes through the mountainous centre of Japan, was carefully spaced with post towns, inns and teahouses. In the 20th century, a new highway system was constructed which by-passed many of the traditional post towns along the Nakasendo.

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The day the quake hit Japan

I was in Japan when the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011. DNA asked me to jot down my initial impressions which were published in the newspaper the next day.
The day the quake hit Japan

DNA / Vikas Swarup / Sunday, March 13, 2011 2:26 IST

At 2.46 pm on Friday, I was in my office in Osaka when the earthquake struck. The consulate general of India is located on the top floor of a ten storied tower in the central business district and I could sense the building swaying.

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Between the Aravind Adiga
My review of Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assassinations

My review of Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assasinations appeared in The Guardian on July 11, 2009. Here it is:
Caste away

Aravind Adiga’s short stories take us where other writers fear to tread, says Vikas Swarup

Saturday 11 July 2009

In one of the stories in Between the Assassinations, Aravind Adiga’s collection written in parallel with his Booker-winning The White Tiger, Murali, a young communist and short-story writer, is told by his editor: “There is talent in your writing. You have gone into the countryside and seen life there, unlike ninety per cent of our writers.

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A preview of things to the premiere of Slumdog Millionaire in Johannesburg, February 17, 2009
My Oscar Experience

Soon after the Oscar ceremony, I contributed the following piece to India Perspectives on my Oscar experience:

The limo arrived at the hotel at exactly three o’clock to take me to the Kodak Theatre where the 81st Academy Awards were to be held. The road leading to the Oscar venue had been closed to traffic since the morning and as my white Audi turned into the gaudy artery ofHollywood Boulevard, I found myself in a sea of limousines. Sleek, shiny, black vehicles with tinted windows lined the boulevard from end to end. Hundreds of people stood at the curb, holding either cameras or placards

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