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Can anyone suggest a great book that gives you a good historical perspective of India....

Can anyone suggest a great book that gives you a good historical perspective of India....

Nov 15th, 2001, 06:55 AM
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Can anyone suggest a great book that gives you a good historical perspective of India....

I just finished Wild Swans and would like to find a similar historical account of India. Does anyone have any suggestions? I did not know the acclaim of Wild Swans until I started reading so I am hoping that there are similar books about India that I am just not aware of.
Nov 16th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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Freedom at Midnight by Lapierre and Collins does not cover a long time span (historically speaking), but it is fascinating account of India at the time of partition (1947), based on the semi-fictional re-creation of events. A fascinating novel that not historical, but reveals a lot aboutIndian culture and religions, is A River Sutra by Gita Mehta. P
Nov 16th, 2001, 11:48 AM
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Definitely, without a doubt, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. Although it is fictional, it traces the life of a man born on the same day as the nation of India, and how their destinies are intertwined. Terrific book. I brought it with me to India and adored it.
Nov 16th, 2001, 01:00 PM
J. Shapero
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"Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie is outstanding as is " A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. There are other books by Mistry about India. Another good one is "God of small things" (forget the author) and "Tamarind Mem".
Enjoy! You will be fascinated by all.
Nov 17th, 2001, 07:47 AM
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Message: I suggest "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth, a love and family story set in the 50ies of the 20th century. It will give you a thorough insight on the country, its people's mentality, the relations between muslims und hindus and it is just a spendid novel. It does not cover such a long time as the Wild Swans but I would definitely put it into the same category.
Nov 22nd, 2001, 03:33 PM
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A suitable boy is wonderful!
I also recommend
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Nov 24th, 2001, 01:06 AM
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I have to through in my vote for "A Fine Balance"! Amazing book. I'm just reading Mistry's "Such a Long Journey" too - not as good, but still good.
Nov 24th, 2001, 10:22 AM
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Freedom at Midnight is wonderful - very readable even though it is non fiction.

The Raj Quartet by paul Scott covers the Raj period and is excellent.

I cannot say enough about A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - one of the best books that I read. I also enjoyed Such a Long Journey - you can almost smell India.

I did not enjoy A suitable Boy that much - but many loved it.

I would also recommend Inda by VS Naipul - a superb writer
Dec 11th, 2001, 02:40 PM
Gary Worthington
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I recently published a historical novel that may be of interest, as I wrote it in large part to familiarize Westerners with India's culture and its evolution through history.

Following is the summary from Amazon.com. More details are available on the publisher web site at www.timebridges.com, including reviews.

"India Treasures is a monumental work of fiction covering the sweep of Indian history. A search through palaces and a maze-like fortress for a Maharaja's legendary hidden treasure weaves together stories of danger and romance, and of spiritual and artistic triumphs. The book portrays key historical persons and events in the nation's religious, cultural, and political evolution.

"Readers will experience meeting the Buddha; being lost in the Great Indian Desert with a caravan merchant; riding an elephant into battle with the famous Emperor Ashoka; painting a celebrated mural masterpiece with a medieval artist; joining a lovely princess as she defies her powerful father for the enemy king whom she loves; transcending life's trials as a disciple
of a great Sufi saint; sharing the perils of a noble Muslim family targeted by a hostile Sultan; and matching wits with the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar.

"The novellas are linked by the treasure hunt through the immense fortress of Mangarh by government tax raiders during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's suspension of civil liberties in the mid-1970s. Vijay Singh, the capable and conscientious leader of the searchers, battles a corrupt political boss who imprisons the Maharaja of Mangarh and preys on the lovely princess Kaushalya. Vijay fears that in Mangarh his secret may be exposed: he claims to be of the high Rajput caste, but in fact he is an Untouchable from a nearby village."

"Engaging, entertaining, utterly absorbing. Highly recommended." — The Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

Gary Worthington
Author of India Treasures: An Epic Novel of Rajasthan and Northern India through the Ages


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