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Book Reviews

“The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means for All of Us,” by Robyn Meredith; W.W. Norton & Co., $25.95, 252 pages.

Listen up, America. The world indeed has gone flat and you need no further proof than an insight into how India and China are transforming the global market marketplace and how they will continue to do. A foreign correspondent for Forbes magazine and a former reporter of The New York Times, Meredith takes readers on an exciting journey of the two developing countries. Yes, there are several books written on India and China but this one takes the cake.

“Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons,” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark; Walker Publishing Co., $28.95, 586 pages.

Don’t blame just the Clinton or the present Bush administration for the Pakistani establishment’s clandestine nuclear activities, say the authors. In fact, Levy and Scott-Clark contend that right from Jimmy Carter to today’s president, the United States administrations has lied to the Congress and the American people as well as abetted the Pakistani government about criminal probes into its nukes by U.S. agencies. Stunned? Well, the internationally renowned investigative journalists conducted hundreds of interviews in Pakistan, India, United Kingdom, U.S., UAE and Israel to back up their claims.

“The Konkans,” by Tony D’Souza; Harcourt Inc., $25, 320 pages.

The Sarasota author bases his second novel in Chicago and India on the little-known community of the Konkans. The narrator’s American mother meets his father while serving in the Peace Corps in India. They move to Chicago shortly after marriage. While the father tries his best to take in American culture, the mother and the narrator’s two uncles struggle to preserve the family’s Konkan heritage. D’Souza intertwines humor and sadness to tell a wonderful story.

“The Elephanta Story: Three Novellas,” by Paul Theroux; Houghton Mifflin Co., $25, 288 pages.

In the “Monkey Hill,” a middle-aged American couple on vacation veers thoughtlessly from idyll to chaos. In “The Gateway of India,” a buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds relief in Mumbai’s slums. And in “The Elephant God,” a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore. The highly acclaimed author of “The Mosquito Coast,” “The Great Railway Bazaar” and “Hotel Honolulu” proves once again that he is the master of travel narration, whether he is visiting China or India.

“My Family & Other Saints,” by Kirin Narayan; University of Chicago Press, $22.50, 236 pages.

The child of an American mother and an Indian father, Narayan takes us back to 1970s Bombay when her 16-year-old brother takes off from home to leave with a guru. The move sets off a chain of events such as Narayan’s mother embracing ashrams and gurus and her father mocking those seeking enlightenment. An anthropology professor, Narayan brings to life not only a family but also a lively era when just about everyone, it seemed, was consumed by some sort of spiritual pursuit.

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