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The Kama Sutra Diaries: Intimate Journeys Through Modern India Paperback – 4 Nov 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (4 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885897
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 13.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'an intelligent and informative look at changing sexual attitudes and behaviour in India. It includes tackling the increasingly hostile attitudes towards women, from the notorious gang-rape on a bus of a 23-year-old woman student Delhi last December that made the world notice, to an "epidemic" of domestic murders that have inspired feminist flash-mobs and demonstrations.' --Sunday Herald

'Absolutely brilliant - every page is a new revelation.' --Nahal, BBC Asian Network

The first book to focus exclusively on sexual experience. Her journey begins in the deep past, in the erotic Kama Sutra temples of Madhya Pradesh, and continues through hill station of Shimla as a seat of sexual licence during the Raj, before taking a look at GIGs (good Indian girls) and BIGs (bad Indian girls) in Delhi, as well as a retirement home for eunuchs in Gujarat, cemetery sex in Varanasi, sex clinics in Chennai, and bar girls worse in Mumbai. There is much eye-watering, mind-boggling stuff. --Giles Foden in Conde Nast Traveller

'Absolutely riveting... I could not put it down. Everything you wanted to know about sex...in India, but never dared ask. Sally Howard lifts the veil on one of the worlds most complex countries.' --of the world s most complex countries.Mark Shand, author of Travels on my Elephant and winner of the Travel Writer of the Year award.

'Counter-cultural and defying expectation, it lays open India s marketing of sex and shines its light on the mistreatment of women, sexual practices, addictions and presumptions. An intriguing insight into a country which gave us the fabled Kama Sutra but where couples still fear to hold hands in public.' --Scotsman

'Absolutely riveting... I could not put it down. Everything you wanted to know about sex...in India, but never dared ask. Sally Howard lifts the veil on one of the worlds most complex countries.' --Mark Shand, author of Travels on my Elephant and winner of the Travel Writer of the Year award.

'Counter-cultural and defying expectation, it lays open India s marketing of sex and shines its light on the mistreatment of women, sexual practices, addictions and presumptions. An intriguing insight into a country which gave us the fabled Kama Sutra but where couples still fear to hold hands in public.' --Scotsman

'Absolutely riveting... I could not put it down. Everything you wanted to know about sex...in India, but never dared ask. Sally Howard lifts the veil on one of the worlds most complex countries.' --of the world s most complex countries.Mark Shand, author of Travels on my Elephant and winner of the Travel Writer of the Year award.

About the Author

Sally Howard is a travel and human-interest journalist who writes regularly on India for some of the world s most prestigious media, including The Sunday Times, the Telegraph, and Forbes. She spends at least six months of the year on the road, primarily in South and East Asia from where she has reported on such diverse issues as the re-emergence of concubines in booming Beijing to the rise of the Indian love marriage.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Hastings on 23 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback
Touching on everything from the ghosts of India's colonial past to the Mumbai terrorist atrocities of 2008, the Kama Sutra Diaries is a book about far more than sex; rather, Sally Howard ingeniously uses the world's most famous sex manual as a prism through which to examine the story of how India got to where it is today, genital warts and all. And by hitting on the curiously under-explored paradox that the land which gave us the Kama Sutra also endures a level of sexual repression like no other, she succeeds in casting fresh light on a very difficult subject which has only become the more urgent in the light of the recent Delhi gang rapes.

Meticulously researched and packed with an eye-watering amount of detail, the Kama Sutra Diaries still manages to move with the nimbleness of a travelogue through the colour of the author's prose and the sharpness of her sensibility. Anyone, for example, who has ever been to Mumbai cannot fail to recall the sweat on their back and the excitement in the air as they read Sally's description of arriving in the city.

It is an even-handed analysis also, the author and her female companion never neglecting to reflect upon the considerable difficulties faced by the modern Indian man amidst this ever-evolving sexual landscape. Indeed, the chapter which focuses on Manvendra Singh Gohil, India's first openly gay prince and founder of a retirement home for gay men and third genders is one of the most touching in the book.

Much like modern India then, the Kama Sutra Diaries is a shocking story at times but one which is also full of hope for the future. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TripFiction on 14 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback
The sexual revolution in India is a massive subject to approach, but Sally Howard has criss-crossed the country in her quest for some understanding and to gain answers. She has drawn many parallels with the sexual revolution that happened in Britain in the 1960s, and further back to the period of the Raj, when there was such confluence of cultures, at a time when the 'Britishers', of course, had a huge amount of influence over the varied and colourful native culture in India.

Her research is a fascinating tour of sexual mores, cultural identity and paradoxes that pervade the country. Often in the company of her travelling companion, Dimple, Sally sets off to explore the Kama Sutra - the sexual pleasure guide - in terms of the present day and the past. It is not a voyeuristic journey of discovery but an interesting sashay through the highs and lows of of sex and lovemaking both in rural areas and the cosmopolitan cities.

Sally's journey starts out in Madhya Pradesh (and fortunately for those who are not overly familiar with India, there is a simple map at the beginning of the book) where she views the lusty friezes of the temple complexes at Khajuraho. This is where we first meet the goddess Kali and her yoni (vulva), which is depicted as pealed open ready to take the phallus. And this pretty much sets the tone for this travelogue through India, position impossible; journeying from dance schools in Kerala where the sensuous Mohiniyattam dance is undergoing a revival, to Bollywood splendour in Bombay, body builders in Amritsar and to Meghalay, where it's all different (and where the proverbial boot is on the other foot, and this is not about foot fetishes).
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By eddyalpha on 6 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book, India has always fascinated me, and this book does give an insight into a different world of the modern.
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Wonderful insight into what makes a country as diverse as india tick. I enjoyed this immensely and in face bought multiple copies for my husband and friends
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