Author: Robin David
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143101374
How to stay normal when things fall apart: An unexpurgated account.
In two successive years Gujarat, and in particular Ahmedabad, was visited by two calamities, one natural and the other man-made. On 26 January 2001 an earthquake struck, killing thousands. A year later, Gujarat underwent a communal carnage that once more undermined all the certainties of life.
For Robin David, an assistant editor with the Times of India, the two events engendered a tectonic shift in his own life. The earthquake left huge cracks in his ancestral home. And the riots made the simple act of walking through a familiar neighbourhood dangerous — especially as his house was located on the dividing line between two communities. Reluctantly, he and his mother decided to shift to another locality. The migration forced them to leave behind an entire lifestyle and an intriguing domestic history of stuffed animals with their glassy stares, family heirlooms and large stacks of receipts, bills and letters—a compendium of life’s minutiae—that his grandfather had never been able to part with. As they destroyed history to start afresh, Robin and his mother discovered that making a new home was not as easy as they had imagined.
City of Fear is an extraordinary account of ordinary people in troubled times, detailed in its observation, universal in its appeal, by a writer who marks a fresh new voice on the Indian literary scene.