Kaleidoscope City: A Year In Varanasi by Piers Moore EdeKaleidoscope City: A Year In Varanasi by Piers Moore Ede

Kaleidoscope City: A Year In Varanasi

byPiers Moore Ede

Hardcover | April 21, 2015

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A revealing tour of India's holiest city offers new insight into the country today.
     Situated on the left bank of the Ganges, in the state of Uttar Pradash, Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. For Hindus there is nowhere more sacred; for Buddhists, it is revered as a place where the Buddha preached his first sermon; for Jains it is the birthplace of their two patriarchs. Over the last four thousand years, perhaps no city in the world has stood witness to such a flux of history, from the development of Aryan culture along the Ganges, to invasions that would leave the city in Muslim hands for three centuries, to an independent Brahmin kingdom, British colonial rule, and ultimately independence.
     But what is the city like today? Home to 2.5 million people, it is visited by twice that number every year. Polluted, overpopulated, religiously divided, but utterly sublime, Varanasi is a living expression of Indian life like no other. Each day 60,000 people bathe in the Ganges. Elderly people come to die here. Widows pushed out by their families arrive to find livelihood. In the city center, the silk trade remains the most important industry, along with textiles and the processing of betel leaf. Behind this facade lurk more sinister industries. Varanasi is a major player in the international drug scene. There's a thriving flesh trade, and a corrupt police force that turns a blind eye. 
     As with Suketu Mehta's Maximimum City Piers Moore Ede tells the city's story by allowing inhabitants to relate their own tales. Whether portraying a Dom Raja whose role it is to cremate bodies by the Ganghes or a khoa maker, who carefully converts cow's milk into the ricotta like substance that forms the base of most sweets, Ede explores the city's most important themes through its people, creating a vibrant portrait of modern, multicultural India.
PIERS MOORE EDE was educated at Winchester College, Exeter University and theUniversity of California, Santa Cruz. Two previous travel books were published in the UKby Bloomsbury: Honey and Dust, nonfiction winner of the DH Lawrence Prize, and AllKinds of Magic. Moore Ede is also a photographer and blues guitarist, and runs thepopular ...
Title:Kaleidoscope City: A Year In VaranasiFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.52 × 5.84 × 0.89 inPublished:April 21, 2015Publisher:Bloomsbury USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1608198685

ISBN - 13:9781608198689

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Editorial Reviews

"[Moore Ede's] careful detailing of the world around him shows a keen and tender sensitivity . . . We find ourselves gunning for him unreservedly . . . The arc of Moore Ede's journey . . . is so sincere and carefully told that the result cannot help but move." -Financial Times on All Kinds of Magic"[Moore Ede] is acutely sensitive to landscape, light, people and mood . . . He gives us a sympathetic and nuanced account of [the countries he visits] . . . This is a good and engaging book whose real importance is to give notice of a fine new talent." -The Guardian on Honey and Dust"An extraordinary handbook on the art of escapism . . . Unusual, compelling and restorative." -Mail on Sunday on Honey and Dust