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Midnight's Borders


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The first true people's history of modern India, told through a seven year, 9,000 mile journey across its many contested borders.

About the Author

Suchitra Vijayan was born and raised in India, received her higher education in law at the University of Leeds in England, and now lives in New York. She earned her master's in international relations at Yale, for which she embedded with the ISAF forces-172 infantry brigade in Afghanistan to conduct research on counterinsurgency practices. Her essays have appeared in The Hindu, Foreign Policy, GQ,The Boston Review and Huffington Post Magazine. As a Barrister, Vijayan was called to Bar at the Honourable Society of Inner Temple--one of the four prestigious Inns of Court in London, and the same Inn that a number of the major political leaders of South Asia (including Gandhi and Nehru) belonged to. She worked for the United Nations war crimes tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda before co-founding the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo, which serves Iraqi refugees. In the fall of 2017, Vijayan founded The Polis Project, a collective of scholars, artists, and activists publishing research and fostering public discussion about war, conflict, post-colonial spaces, and militarization. The project launched a lecture series and is working on an open source database about political violence in South Asia.


"Suchitra's account of her journeys across the undefinable and ever-shifting borders between India and its neighbors is gripping, frightening, faithful, and beautiful. In Afghanistan, Kashmir, and India, from one dangerous conflict zone to another, she spoke with people, ate with them, and listened to their stories. As a bedouin who grew up listening to beautiful stories from beautiful storytellers around a fire, I was transported by her storytelling. This is a serious, often funny, and deeply revealing book." -Mohamedou Ould Salahi, author of Guantanamo Diary

"Unique and ambitious, Vijayan's project gains urgency and significance from our moment of resurgent nationalisms, when borders are being aggressively reasserted, in India and across the globe."-Gaiutra Bahadur, author of Coolie Woman

"An intervention like no other when it comes to thinking through not just the history of India but for reflections on borders, migration, the elusory nature of nations With sharp political analyses, dense historical research, and lyrical, image-rich prose, Vijayan's journalism displays an inspiring ethic, one that is invested in the micro-histories of the 'small man,' the one existing on the fringes of history and the one that most requires urgent representation."-Bhakti Shringarpure, author of Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital

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