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The Elephanta Suite : First Edition
A master of the travel narrative gives us three intertwined novellas of Westerners transformed by their sojourns in India.
This startling and satisfying book captures the tumult, ambition, hardship, and serenity that mark today's India. Paul Theroux's characters risk venturing far beyond the subcontinent's well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A middle-aged couple on vacation veers heedlessly from idyll to chaos. A buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds succour in Mumbai's reeking slums. And a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore.
In these pages, we also meet Indian characters as singular as they are indicative of the country's subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest young striver whose personality is rewired by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and more.
As ever, Theroux's portraits of people and places explode stereotypes to exhilarating effect. The Elephanta Suite urges us toward a fresh, compelling, and often inspiring notion of what India is, and what it can do to those who try to lose -- or find -- themselves there.
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Division
September 17, 2008
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