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Almost Home


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About the Author

Born in Coimbatore, India, Githa Hariharan grew up in Bombay and Manila. She was educated in those two cities and later in the United States. She has worked as a staff writer for WNET-Channel 13 in New York, an editor for Orient Longman, a freelance professional editor for a range of academic institutions and foundations, and visiting professor at a number of international universities. Her first novel, The Thousand Faces of Night (1992) won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book in 1993. Her other novels include The Ghosts of Vasu Master (1994), When Dreams Travel (1999), In Times of Siege (2003), and Fugitive Histories (2009). She has also published a highly acclaimed short story collection, The Art of Dying, and a book of stories for children, The Winning Team. Her essays and fiction have also been included in anthologies such as Salman Rushdie's Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997. She lives in New Delhi.


"[Almost Home is] a treat for globetrotters who like to get under the skin of complex places. Hariharan travels through India, Palestine, Algeria, Tokyo, Spain and, of course, New York, using memory, cultural criticism and history to give voice to urban people fighting for their dreams and dignity." --Bedford and Bowery

"A beautifully crafted memoir about finding one's place in a global and ever-changing world.... Her memoir Almost Home follows her many worldly travels and experiences, deepened by historical asides and cultural explanations. In ten captivating essays, Hariharan explores her life as a global citizen, defined equally by her roots as much as her current address, and what it means to find and embrace her own place in an ancient yet transient world." --GoNOMAD

"A fascinating book that transcends conventional genre divisions and combines several elements: of memoir, travelogue, history, philosophy and fiction. What in a journalist's hands might just have been reportage turns in the hands of this creative writer into a well-conceived, layered narrative, a work of excellent prose." --Frontline India

"Hariharan is a complete cultural encyclopedia.... Her observations are sharp as she reveals power dynamics with subtlety.... Hariharan's stories should be required reading.... Read it in order to decode the daily news. Read it just before traveling to the Far or Middle East, or read it because the last five books you read were written by white American men. To ignore the farmers and seamstresses of Hariharan's essays is to discard the responsibility and interconnectedness of living in a globalized world. Each essay will add depth to your understanding of the complicated, nuanced relationship between daily life and history, no matter what city or country you call home." --Chicago Review of Books

"Hariharan...employs abundant creative imagination as she conjures the centuries past that have shaped the present in which she finds herself. ... [Almost Home] seems to map new territory of its own." --Kirkus Reviews

"In essays that bespeak a thoroughly cosmopolitan sensibility, Githa Hariharan not only takes us on illuminating tours through cities rich in history, but gives a voice to urban people from all over the world--Kashmir, Palestine, Delhi--trying to live with basic human dignity under circumstances of dire repression or crushing poverty." --JM Coetzee

"We are in capable hands with Githa Hariharan.... To read this book is to venture on a rigorous journey around the globe and through pockets of time. As a fellow travel writer and having also lived a peripatetic life that crosses continents and hemispheres, this is the best travel book I have ever read.... Hariharan's anthropological curiosity, the sign of a true traveler's mind, illuminates the tales with a colorful confetti of elements from philosophy and art to literature and history. The results remind me of the best parts of Graham Greene's oeuvre and Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.... People and places come alive in this book, not through dusty encyclopedic research, but by Hariharan's deft incorporation of historical fiction into the essayistic and travelogue elements of her narrative.... World travelers and armchair travelers alike will find themselves happily lost and found in this book. It's worth repeatedly returning to." --New Pages

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