The city has had a long history in India, from the urban civilization of the Indus Valley in 2500 BCE to the megalopolis found in contemporary India. This is the first anthology of the city in India since around 1800, with an accent on the twentieth century. Drawing on fiction, poetry, essays, travel narratives, and scholarly studies in history, anthropology, and cultural studies, this two-volume anthology presents insights into the city with a mix of readings from the most renowned writers, established scholars and authors, and younger voices.
Including poems, short stories, essays, and social commentaries by 64 writers, this volume, in particular, looks at the politics and violence in the city, the social web of life in the metropolis, the dalits, labourers, slum-dwellers, and outsiders, the many ethnicities, art and culture, and the past and future of the city. With contributions from leading writers and scholars including M.J. Akbar, Thomas Blom Hansen, Amitav Ghosh, Harriet Ronken Lynton, Bhisham Sahni, Shiv Visvanathan, Martha Ann Selby, Abdul Halim Sharar, Mirza Ghalib, Tanya Marie Luhrmann, and James Manor, this volume comes with a comprehensive Introduction by Vinay Lal which sets the context for the writings and a special reader's guide for the interested reader.