Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India

Miranda Kennedy. Random, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6786-2
Abandoning New York, 20-something freelance writer Kennedy embarks on a trip to India, and ends up staying for five years. She leads readers on a sensual and smart voyage, sharing her insights on food, culture, Bollywood (what she sees as medieval morality plays), and the multiple rigors of daily life. Kennedy constructs her story around the lives of the women in her life, while simultaneously reflecting upon her own fractured personal and professional circumstances. She discusses the devoted yet at times strained relationship with her servants (Radha, a poor Brahmin, and Manheesh, a member of the sweeper caste) as well as the hurdles faced by her two single middle-class girlfriends, dealing with India's conservative, family-centric culture. Kennedy dives into such topics such as the lingering caste system, extreme poverty, the byzantine relationships between the sexes, and the pressure on women to marry and have children. She zigzags agilely between these women's stories and her own, shedding an intimate light on life in a rapidly developing but at times unchanging India. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-679-60455-6
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