Author: Ian JackForeword/Introduction: Ramachandra GuhaPublisher: Penguin BooksYear: 2013Language: EnglishPages: 352ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780670086443
This book Mofussil Junction has the crackle and unpredictability of new places and unexpected situations as well as periods of quiet. This is the pattern that makes a reporter's life, but Ian Jack brings empathy as well as distance and an unobtrusive intelligence to the business of travelling and writing.This collection of reports offers the main facts of the story with perfect judgment every time. But it is Jack's ability to stray away from the centre and allow additional perspectives to filter through his writing and simultaneously to withhold judgment but be present in all that he writes that make him an exceptional reporter. In this collection of essays, profiles and reportage, Ian Jack explores a wide and unlikely range of subjects, which he encountered in more than thirty years of reporting from India and its sub continental neighbors.Some of the India he describes has vanished: the drift of coal smoke from passenger trains, tea drunk from clay kulhads at country junctions. Some of it remains obscure: Orwell’s birthplace in Motihari, the Anglo- Indian search for a homeland in Mccluskiegunge. Some of it perseveres: the Nehru–Gandhis, the distress, the politics, and the hospitality. The choice is eclectic: he writes about G.D. Birla and river steamers on the one hand, and Benazir Bhutto and railway accidents on the other. But every piece in this selection is informed by the author’s acute insights and superb eye for detail, expressed in luminous, evocative prose.