By IAN MCGILLIS, Special to The Gazette December 20, 2008
Even prominent writers aren’t immune. In the earliest stretches of his new personal travelogue, M.G. Vassanji appears little different from a wide-eyed Western backpacker struggling to assimilate the extremes bombarding him.
The wise and fortunate traveller has to achieve some sort of acceptance epiphany, and Vassanji’s comes on a train between Bhubaneswar and Calcutta: “I realize that I have to let India happen and respond to it accordingly; I cannot go anxiously searching for it, seeking nuance under every stone and behind every wall.”
Happily, as readers of Vassanji’s fiction won’t be surprised to learn, nuance is what he finds anyway.