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Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi: Book by Piers Moore Ede

Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi

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ISBN: 9781408818497    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 16.99        Language: English
'I will never forget my first sight of the river in Varanasi, from the narrowness and constriction of the alleys, thronged with activity, to the sudden release of the waterfront, the labyrinth's end ...It...Read more
'I will never forget my first sight of the river in Varanasi, from the narrowness and constriction of the alleys, thronged with activity, to the sudden release of the waterfront, the labyrinth's end ...It seems that all of life has its assigned place on the stone steps leading down to the Ganges. Some are used for bathing, others for laundry, washing buffalo, puja (worship, ceremonial offering), and this one for the business of death. The smells are of wood smoke, buffalo dung, urine and jasmine flowers. The sounds are of rustling kites and lowing cattle, crackling wood and prayer...' Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through it on his way to Nepal in search of wild honey hunters. In the decade that followed it continued to exert its pull on him, and so he returned to live there, to press his ear to its heartbeat and to discover what it is that makes the spiritual capital of India so unique.
In this intoxicating 'city of 10,000 widows', where funeral pyres smoulder beside the river in which thousands of pilgrims bathe, and holiness and corruption walk side by side, Piers encounters sweet-makers and sadhus, mischievous boatmen and weary bureaucrats, silk weavers and musicians and discovers a remarkable interplay between death and life, light and dark.
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About the author: Piers Moore Ede
Piers Moore Ede has contributed to many literary, travel and environmental publications, including the Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement,... Read more
Piers Moore Ede has contributed to many literary, travel and environmental publications, including the Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement, Ecologist, Traveller and Earth Island Journal. He is the author of Honey and Dust, winner of a D. H. Lawrence Prize for Travel Writing, and All Kinds of Magic. He lives in East Sussex with his wife and daughter. piersmooreede.blogspot.co.uk
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Review:
Affectionate and inquiring at the same time ... There's a sparkle, too, to his account of Varanasi, which is slim but as multi-layered as the soot on the city's roofs ... Kaleidoscope City conveys...Read more
Affectionate and inquiring at the same time ... There's a sparkle, too, to his account of Varanasi, which is slim but as multi-layered as the soot on the city's roofs ... Kaleidoscope City conveys wonderfully well the masti, or love of life, that the author says is the most striking characteristic of the people Daily Telegraph Moore Ede is highly attuned to the sensory experiences which make travel writing come alive Conde Nast Traveller Piers Moore Ede spends a fascinating year here in his clear-eyed Kaleidoscope City taking in the corruption as well as the spiritualism Wanderlust It takes a resident's insight to balance the city's darker side with a celebration of its luminous creativity, renowned cuisine and masti, an infectious joie de vivre peculiar to its inhabitants. Moore Ede strikes such a balance with elegance and style ***** The Lady The holy city on the banks of the Ganges River teems with life and Kaleidoscope City is Ede's attempt to get under the skin of this sprawling, contradictory place. He hangs out with members of the Dom Raja caste bodies on the river's banks, meets activists fighting the city's prostitution and talks to an Aghori sadhu - feared and revered for the way in which they embrace death -- Carl Wilkinson Brims with warmth, humility and curiosity ... The rhythms of life and death by the river are vividly rendered in Moore Ede's fluid prose Times Literary Supplement
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