Almost Home : Cities and Other Places

Published date: March 16, 2017
  • Location: United States

'This word, home. So easy to say, so casually said every day. Why then is home so hard to see, the way you see other places you visit for a week or two?' What do a medieval city in South India and Washington D.C. have in common? How do people in Kashmir imagine the freedom they long for? Who does Delhi, city of grand monuments and hidden slums, actually belong to? Most of all, what makes a city, or any place, home? In large parts of the world, including India, the prevailing view of people and places - and their multiple voices - has been a western version. How does this story change when it is located in India, and the view complicated by several cultures, languages, traditions and political debates? From Delhi, Bombay/Mumbai, Ooty and Kashmir, to Palestine, Algeria and eleventh-century Cordoba, these intricately carved essays explore cities and other places through the lives of people, and how they see home and belonging. Combining memoir and polemic, historical and imagined narrative, anecdote and poetry, Githa Hariharan recounts defining moments - in which people experience the frictions of day-to-day survival, or the collisions of ideas, culture, war or colonization. The result is a fascinating and layered story of home: a sense of home, too many homes, broken or lost homes.

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