A Place Within

A Place Within

Rediscovering India

Book - 2009 | Anchor Canada ed.
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A Globe and Mail Best Book

The inimitable M.G. Vassanji turns his eye to India, the homeland of his ancestors, in this powerfully moving tale of family and country. Part travelogue, part history, A Place Within is M.G. Vassanji's intelligent and beautifully written journey to explore where he belongs.

It would take many lifetimes, it was said to me during my first visit, to see all of India. The desperation must have shown on my face to absorb and digest all I possibly could. This was not something I had articulated or resolved; and yet I recall an anxiety as I travelled the length and breadth of the country, senses raw to every new experience, that even in the distraction of a blink I might miss something profoundly significant.

I was not born in India, nor were my parents; that might explain much in my expectation of that visit. Yet how many people go to the homeland of their grandparents with such a heartload of expectation and momentousness; such a desire to find themselves in everything they see? Is it only India that clings thus, to those who've forsaken it; is this why Indians in a foreign land seem always so desperate to seek each other out? What was India to me?
Publisher: [Toronto] : Anchor Canada, [2009]
Edition: Anchor Canada ed.
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780385661799
Branch Call Number: 819.354 Vassa
Characteristics: xvii, 440 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm


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Jul 27, 2012

Part history, part travelogue, part autobiography. Vassanji returns to India andis horrified by the violence of the present day. This author is always interesting and insightful.

Jan 03, 2012

Interesting reading, but about 1/2 way through hit information overload on history. Did help give a real sense of, and appreciation for, the country

Oct 01, 2010

This is a remarkable quest. Vassanji's yearning to find the familiar - glimpses of his childhood - amidst the ocean that is India. That familiar place is that 'Place within' and by and large, he does find it. I liked the cadences of his writing, like hearing a soft-spoken raconteur telling an epic tale.

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