Shadows at Noon

Available for Special Order
Shadows at Noon
A groundbreaking view of South Asian history in the twentieth century that underlines the similarities and intertwined cultures of India and Pakistan

"[A] definitive new 20th-century thematic history of the Indian subcontinent that rejects hegemonic conceptions of national 'difference.'"--Financial Times

Longlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Non-Fiction

This radically original and ambitious history of the Indian subcontinent explores the region's unique twentieth-century history and foregrounds the deep connections, rather than the well-publicized fissures, between the cultures of India and Pakistan.

Taking the partitions of British India rather than the two world wars as the century's inflection points, Joya Chatterji examines how issues of nationalism, internal and external migration, and technological innovation contributed to South Asia's tumultuous twentieth century. Chatterji weaves together elements of her autobiography and family history; stories of such legendary figures as Tagore, Jinnah, Gandhi, and Nehru; and, in particular, the accounts of the many who were left behind and marginalized in relentless nation-building projects.

Chatterji examines the countries' mirroring patterns in state building, social and cultural life, modes of leisure, consumption, and oppression, and offers a timely course correction to our understanding of the dynamics of South Asian history. It reframes the events of the twentieth century that are continuing to play out in the present day.

Publication Date: 
November 21, 2023