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The transformation of Delhi into a twenty-first century metropolis is an intoxicating, at times terrifying story - that has repercussions for the future not only in India but everywhere
Rana Dasgupta won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book for his debut novel Solo. He is also the author of a collection of urban folktales, Tokyo Cancelled, which was shortlisted for the 2005 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Capital, his first work of non-fiction, has been shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2015. Born in Canterbury in 1971, he now lives in Delhi.
* A beautifully written portrait of a corrupt, violent and traumatised city growing so fast it is almost unrecognisable to its own inhabitants. An astonishing tour de force by a major writer at the peak of his powers -- WILLIAM DALRYMPLE * A terrific portrait of Delhi right now and hits a lot of nails on the head -- SALMAN RUSHDIE Vogue * Lyrical and haunting International New York Times * Achingly beautiful ... and cleverly tangential Financial Times * Intense, lyrical, erudite and powerful Observer * Important ... His lyrical encounters with a wide range of modern Delhiites reveal a novelist's ear and are beautifully sketched Telegraph * Dasgupta peels back the layers of denial with insight, humanity and beautiful writing. He exposes festering wounds buts succeeds in fascinating rather than repelling The Times * A remarkable and exhaustive account Independent * Personal, original and vivid New Internationalist * A remarkably elegant work whose rich style and sweep often brings to mind V S Naipaul's A Million Mutinies Now New Statesman * Dasgupta's combination of reportage, political critique and oral history is mordant rather than dyspeptic, sorrowful rather than castigatory. But what makes it more than a local study, what makes it so haunting, is that its textured, tart accounts of the privatisation of public space, of the incestuous relationship between the political and business classes, of the precarity that renders daily life so fraught all apply as much to Britain and the west as they do to the Indian capital Guardian * Capital is constructed around a series of mesmerising interviews ... Among many lively episodes in Dasgupta's appropriately large, sprawling and populous book is one describing the experience of driving in Delhi Spectator * Rana Dasgupta is the most unexpected and original Indian writer of his generation -- SALMAN RUSHDIE * [Dasgupta has] a gift for sentences of lancing power and beauty New Yorker * Dasgupta's eye is keen, and his sensitivity to small moments takes this extraordinary, tender book linger in the mind like a series of striking short stories. In Delhi, ruined, embattled, and alarmingly mutant, he sees the globalised city of the future Prospect * His novelistic talents are matched by his skill at eliciting astonishing candor from his subjects ... [Capital is] the most worthwhile in a strong field of recent books about India's free-market revolution and its unintended consequences New Yorker * Dasgupta writes with poetic colour about a place that, despite all its failings, still manages to conjure a vibrancy that could make it one of the powerhouses of the century Good Book Guide