ALMOST HOME: FINDING A PLACE IN THE WORLD FROM KASHMIR TO NEW YORK
BY GITHA HARIHARAN
In conversation with Anjali Singh
ON SALE MARCH 22, 2016 - Restless Books
Join us for the New York City launch of acclaimed Indian author Githa Hariharan's groundbreaking book of travel essays, Almost Home: Finding a Place in the World from Kashmir to New York. In a series of engrossing and politically charged essays, Hariharan explores some of the world’s most radiant—and radioactive—places, across both time and space. J.M. Coetzee writes of Almost Home: “In essays that bespeak a thoroughly cosmopolitan sensibility, Githa Hariharan not only takes us on illuminating tours through cities rich in history, but gives a voice to urban people from all over the world—Kashmir, Palestine, Delhi—trying to live with basic human dignity under circumstances of dire repression or crushing poverty.” Githa will be in conversation with her friend and colleague, Anjali Singh of Ayesha Pande Literary Agency.
What does a medieval city in South India have in common with Washington, D.C.? How do people in Kashmir imagine the freedom they long for? To whom does Delhi, city of grand monuments and hidden slums, actually belong? And what makes a city, or any place, home? In ten intricately carved essays, renowned author Githa Hariharan tackles these questions and takes readers on an eye-opening journey across time and place, exploring the history, landscape, and people that have shaped the world’s most fascinating and fraught cities.Inspired by Italo Calvino’s playful and powerful writing about journeys and cities, Almost Home combines memory, cultural criticism, and history to sculpt fascinating, layered stories about the places around the world—from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kashmir to Palestine, Algeria, and eleventh-century Córdoba, from Tokyo to New York and Washington. In narrating the lives of these place’s vanquished and marginalized, she plumbs the depths of colonization and nation-building, poverty and war, the fight for human rights and the day-to-day business of survival.
Githa Hariharan was born in Coimbatore, India, and she grew up in Bombay and Manila. She was educated in these two cities and later in the United States. In 1995, Hariharan challenged the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act as discriminatory against women. The case, Githa Hariharan and Another vs. Reserve Bank of India and Another, led to a Supreme Court judgment in 1999 on guardianship. Githa Hariharan's published work includes novels, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and columns. Her first novel, The Thousand Faces of Night (1992) won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book in 1993. Her book of essays, Almost Home, will be published by Restless Books in March 2016.
Anjali Singh started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Most recently Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers, and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, Preeta Samarasan, Zoe Ferraris, Victoria Patterson, Natalie Bakopoulos, Enid Shomer and Brigid Pasulka. She is a member of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival.