Monday, October 04, 2010

What is Gyan Prakash reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Gyan Prakash, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University and author of Mumbai Fables.

His entry begins:
I am currently reading Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s fabulous novel, The Shadow of the Wind, having just finished reading his immensely imaginative and enjoyable The Angel’s Game. I did not know about him, and picked up The Angel’s Game quite by chance at the airport as something to read on a long intercontinental flight. And what a nice accidental pick it was! The time passed by quickly as I fell completely under the spell cast by Zafón’s story of a writer who lives by writing sensationalist crime stories under a pseudonym. As the writer digs beneath surface appearances to find deeper truths about the world around him, things became more mysterious and magical, and yet believable. The novel uses the conceit of...[read on]
Among the early praise for Mumbai Fables:
"A fascinating exploration of my favorite city, full of insider knowledge and sharp insights."
--Salman Rushdie

"Gyan Prakash brilliantly combines the historian's savoir faire with the savvy seductions of the urban raconteur. Mumbai Fables splendidly explores the shape-changing, scene-setting experience of a city that dares to restlessly reinvent its horizons. It is the challenge of the 'present' and the survival of the everyday, Prakash argues, that gives Mumbai its myth and reality. 'It's now or never,' the city seems to sing, 'tomorrow will be too late.'"
--Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University

"Blending historical research with a novelistic spirit, Mumbai Fables fluidly unfolds the development of the city in a rich narrative that makes the story come alive. Prakash challenges our understanding of Mumbai's cosmopolitanism and his colorful descriptions enhance our view of the city in manifold ways. This is a great book."
--Rahul Mehrotra, RMA Architects and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This fabulous book is lively and engaging, as well as profound and important. In clear and compelling prose Prakash unearths dynamic features of one of the most important cities in the world, achieving a large-scale portrait, from its origins to today. Rich with stories, this is a masterful sweep through a great city's history."
--Philip J. Ethington, University of Southern California
Read an excerpt from Mumbai Fables, and learn more about the book at the Princeton University Press website.

Visit Gyan Prakash's faculty webpage.

Writers Read: Gyan Prakash.

--Marshal Zeringue