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Capital by Rana Dasgupta Summary
The boom following the opening up of India’s economy in the early 1990s plunged Delhi, the capital city, into a tumult of destruction and creation: slums and markets were bulldozed or burnt down, and shopping malls and apartment blocks erupted from the ruins – or upon agricultural land taken over in the interests of business and modernization. Immense fortunes were made, and in the glassy stores lining the new highways, customers paid for global luxury with bags of cash. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people from the rural hinterland streamed into the newly formed ‘National Capital Region’ looking for work, which they often found constructing, cleaning or guarding the homes of the increasingly affluent middle class. The transformation of the city was stern, abrupt and unequal, and it gave rise to new and bewildering feelings. Delhi brimmed with ambition and rage. In his first work of non-fiction, Rana Dasgupta shows us this new Delhi through the eyes of its people.
Rana Dasgupta is the author of the short story collection, Tokyo Cancelled, which was shortlisted for the 2005 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (UK) and the Hutch Crossword Book Award (India), and the novel Solo, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2010 for Best Book. His non-fiction work, Capital, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2015 and the Ondaatje Prize in 2015