Books & Talks

Today’s Met Pick: Miranda Kennedy at Elliott Bay Books

The NPR journalist talks about modern India and riding Sideways on a Scooter.

By Laura Dannen July 11, 2011

Delhi’s stale April air caught in my throat. Each breath had already been recycled through millions of Indian mouths, I imagined, growing hotter and thicker with each exhale. This is what it must feel like inside a burka: It was as though I was enclosed from head to tow in black cotton and inhaling the fabric that covered my mouth as I tried to scoop the dusty soup into my lungs.

So begins Miranda Kennedy’s new memoir Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, a glimpse into the life of a twentysomething New York journalist who plunks herself down in Delhi with the hope of becoming a freelance foreign correspondent. She leaves a little over five years later with a better understanding of herself and the bustling country she adopted—its economic growth and social struggles, caste system and arranged marriages. Yes, it sounds like Eat, Pray, Love drenched in curry, but it’s written by a talented NPR writer/producer who describes modern India—particularly its modern women—with wit and compassion. She’ll read from Sideways tonight at 7 at Elliott Bay Book Company, and joins the Eye on India Seattle literary festival on July 13 at Seattle Asian Art Museum.

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